Terror from the Right: Archives
November 3, 2018
Two women — 61-year-old Nancy Van Vessem and 21-year-old Maura Binkley — are killed and several others are injured when 40-year-old Scott Paul Beierle opens fire at a Tallahassee, Florida, yoga studio before killing himself. In online videos and music discovered after the murders, Beierle had adopted the moniker “Carnifex” — Latin for executioner — and made deeply misogynistic comments and references to violence, including song lyrics imagining the imprisonment and torture of a woman in his basement. Beierle also referenced mass murderer Eliot Rodger, a figure who has become a hero to the “incel” or involuntary celibate community, which is made up of deeply misogynistic men who view themselves as sexual outcasts victimized by the advances of feminism. Beierle had previously been arrested for groping women.
October 27, 2018
Eleven people are murdered and seven injured after 46-year-old suspect Robert Gregory Bowers storms the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with several semi-automatic weapons and shouts “All Jews must die.” Multiple responding officers are wounded in a shootout with Bowers before he is finally taken into custody. Bowers was an active user of the social media network Gab, which was developed as a non-moderated alternative to Twitter and quickly became a hub for white supremacist activists and their admirers. On his account, Bowers engaged with several leading alt-right figures and obsessed over the white supremacist conspiracy theory of “white genocide.” Bowers appears to have targeted Tree of Life because of his belief that Jews are enabling the destruction of the white race by helping resettle non-white refugees. Bowers also shared content relating to the caravan of Central American asylum seekers that President Trump and other prominent conservatives demonized as a threat to America in the weeks leading to the 2018 midterm elections.
October 26, 2018
Cesar Altieri Sayoc, Jr., a 56-year-old Florida man who worked as a pizza delivery driver and lived in a van plastered with pro-Trump decals, is arrested after federal authorities tie him to a series of at least 13 mail bombs sent to prominent Democrats, liberal figures and the cable news outlet CNN. Sayoc’s online activity across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube over several years reveal a descent into hyper-partisan and conspiratorial thinking, posting stories from far-right websites like Infowars and Breitbart and sharing photos of himself at Trump rallies. Sayoc had a criminal history including fraud, larceny and a 2002 charge for making a bomb threat against a Florida-based utility company.
October 25, 2018
Gregory Bush, a 51-year-old white man and resident of Louisville, Kentucky, shoots and kills two African-Americans — Vickie Lee Jones, 67, and Maurice E. Stallard, 69 —at a Kroger grocery store. Bush allegedly tells an armed white man who confronts him in the parking lot that “Whites don’t kill whites.” Earlier in the day, Bush fails to break into a nearby black church, in what appears to have been an attempt to carry out a massacre similar to the one in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015 where nine parishioners were murdered by white supremacist Dylann Roof. Bush has a criminal history including domestic violence incidents involving family members and his ex-wife, who is black and said that Bush once used a racist epithet against her.
July 14, 2018
MeShon Cooper, a 43-year-old black woman, is found dead inside a house in Shawnee, Kansas, after she went missing two weeks prior. Ronald Lee Kidwell, a 47-year-old white man, is arrested and charged with second-degree murder in Cooper's death. Kidwell's family describes him to local reporters as a white supremacist who draped himself in the Confederate flag and had a swastika tattoo on his arm. Kidwell allegedly claimed to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations. "He's been a monster his whole life," Kidwell's daughter told the media. "He's the true definition of evil."
May 5, 2018
Dustin Allen Hughes, a 26-year old Florida man, repeatedly calls the Jamaat ul Muttaqeen mosque in Pembroke Pines, Florida, leaving violent anti-Muslim voicemails threatening to blow up the mosque and harm its worshippers. In the voicemail message, among other things, Hughes stated, "I planted a bomb in your temple, I'm gonna blow your fucking temple up you fucking Muslim." After a sweep of the mosque, police officers find no explosives in the vicinity. Several days later Hughes is arrested and confesses to leaving the message, stating that he "wanted to make members of the mosque scared and upset." Hughes pleads guilty to one count of obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs through threatened use of an explosive. If convicted, Hughes could serve up to 10 years in prison.
April 22, 2018
Travis Reinking, a 29-year-old self-described sovereign citizen, is accused of murdering four people and injuring four others at a mass shooting in a Nashville, Tennessee, Waffle House restaurant. Reinking allegedly fled the scene of the crime and was arrested the next day. Reinking had been in trouble before. In July 2017, Reinking breached a White House security barrier demanding to meet with President Donald Trump, where he declared himself a "sovereign citizen" to law enforcement officials. Reinking has undergone mental health evaluations in his ongoing trial.
April 19, 2018
Police officers search the home of Nicholas Wesley Rose, a 26-year-old man from Orange County, California, after receiving a tip from a family member that Rose was violently threatening Jewish neighbors and community members. Upon search of his home, authorities uncovered ammunition, antisemitic literature, a kill-list targeting local churches and prominent Jewish leaders and a document titled "How to Kill my First Jew." Rose pleaded not guilty to hate crimes. If convicted, he could face over six years in state prison.
March 5, 2018
Benjamin Morrow, a 28-year-old quality control technician for a food company, is killed in an explosion at his Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, apartment. Bomb-making substances were subsequently found throughout his home including 40 gallons of acetone, a notorious chemical known to be found in "Mother of Satan" bombs used by terrorists around the world. Because of the volatility of the substances recovered, firefighters chose to destroy the entire apartment building in a controlled burn. Investigators also found "white supremacist material" in his bedroom, though local police won't release details on the material found, according to an unsealed warrant application from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
February 14, 2018
Police say 19-year-old Nikolas Jacob Cruz, armed with a semi-automatic rifle, entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where he was previously expelled, and allegedly opened fire on students and teachers. According to prosecutors, Cruz carried multiple gun magazines with swastikas carved on them. Police say that, after six minutes of shooting, resulting in the deaths of 17 people and injuries of 17 more, Cruz abandons his rifle and escapes the scene by blending in with fleeing students. He is arrested by police less than an hour later in a local neighborhood and is eventually taken to jail. Former classmates reported that Cruz made racist and hateful comments, and later it was discovered that Cruz expressed far-right antisemitic, homophobic and xenophobic views in a private Instagram group chat. Cruz is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. If convicted, Cruz could face the death penalty or a life sentence without parole.
January 2, 2018
Avowed neo-Nazi Samuel Woodward, a 20-year-old member of the violently racist Atomwaffen Division and native of Orange County, California, is accused of killing former classmate Blaze Bernstein, a college student who was gay and Jewish. Prosecutors allege that Woodward stabbed Bernstein over 20 times, burying his body in a shallow grave where he was found a week later. According to online chat logs obtained by investigative website ProPublica, Atomwaffen members hailed Woodward as a "one man gay Jew wrecking crew." Woodward pleaded not guilty to the murder charges.
January 28, 2017
Marq Vincent Perez sets fire to the Victoria Islamic Center in Victoria, Texas, destroying the building. A confidential juvenile witness testifies about aiding Perez in the attack, saying that Perez planned the arson days in advance and showed no remorse. In addition, stolen items from the mosque were found in 26-year-old man's home along with a homemade explosive device. In July 2018, a federal jury found Perez guilty on all counts, including a hate crime, in the burning of the mosque. Perez could serve up to 40 years in prison. A sentencing hearing has been set for early October 2018.
White supremacist Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, a 31-year-old from Conway, South Carolina, tells an FBI agent posing as a member of the Aryan Nations that he wants to commit acts of violence against religious and ethnic minorities. Inspired by neo-Nazi mass-murderer Dylann Roof, McDowell repeatedly expresses a desire to obtain a gun to perpetrate anti-Muslim, antisemitic and racist acts of violence. Soon after, McDowell, a felon prohibited from the possession of firearms, purchases a Glock in a controlled FBI set up and is arrested. McDowell is sentenced to 33 months in prison and three years of probation for possession of a firearm and ammunition as a felon.
February 2, 2017
William Christopher Gibbs, 27, a member of the racist Georgia Church of Creativity, is arrested for possession of ricin and probation violation. Authorities learn of Gibbs' ricin possession when he checks himself into a hospital after accidentally exposing himself to the substance. A field test on his car showed trace amounts of ricin present. If convicted, Gibbs faces up to five years in prison.
Feb. 22, 2017
Adam W. Purinton 51, of Olathe, Kan., is arrested in Clinton, Mo., after telling a bartender at an Applebee’s that he needed a place to hide after having killed two Middle Eastern men. Purinton allegedly shot two men in an Olathe bar, after telling them to “get out of my country.” One of the two men from India, 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla, dies. The other survives his injuries. Another bar patron was injured in the attack. Purinton is being held on $2 million bond and faces first-degree murder charges along with two counts of attempted first-degree murder. He has also been charged with a federal hate crime and could face the death penalty if convicted.
March 22, 2017
James Harris Jackson, 28, is arrested after he turns himself in at a Manhattan police precinct where he confesses stabbing Timothy Caughman, 66, to death with a "Roman short sword" on a city street on March 20 after traveling to New York City to allegedly hunt and kill black men. Jackson, who is white, allegedly stabbed Caughman, who was black, as a “practice run” to kill others and deter white women from race-mixing. To Jackson, interracial relationships were "an insurmountable problem." Jackson, an Army veteran, tells a media source following his arrest that “the white race is being eroded.” He is charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime but in a court appearance on March 27, the charges are upgraded to murder as an act of terrorism. He is also facing weapons charges and could face a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted.
May 16, 2017
Broadwater County, Montana, sheriff’s deputy Mason Moore, 42, is shot and killed near Three Forks, west of Bozeman, while involved in a pursuit of a vehicle he had attempted to stop for a traffic violation. The occupants of the vehicle engage Highway Patrol officers in gunfire through several counties while under pursuit until finally being stopped by tire deflation devices in Powell County. The vehicle’s passenger, Marshall Barrus, 38, continues to fire at law enforcement upon exiting the vehicle and is shot. He dies the next day. The vehicle’s driver, Lloyd Barrus, 68, the father of Marshall Barrus, surrenders at the scene. Lloyd Barrus has lived in Bakersfield, California, and posted pro-Trump materials on his Facebook page, as well as links to various antigovernment and conspiracy theory sites, including Alex Jones’ InfoWars. He also posted a photo of a massive Nazi rally from the World War II era, with the caption “no rioting going on in this picture.” In 2000, Lloyd Barrus was living in Idaho and involved in another high-speed chase and gunfight with law enforcement in the Nevada-California desert. Barrus and the vehicle’s two other occupants fired on a police helicopter, and managed to bring it down, though no crewmembers were injured. Barrus’ other son, Jeffrey, then 20, is still serving a 25-year prison term after pleading guilty to attempting to kill police officers. Lloyd Barrus also served time after that incident, and his antigovernment beliefs appear to have hardened while in prison. Lloyd Barrus’ bail is set at $2 million and he faces 16 counts of murder, 14 of which are for deliberate attempted homicide. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
May 20, 2017
Sean Urbanski, a 22-year-old white student at the University of Maryland, allegedly stabs and kills newly commissioned army Lt. Richard Collins III a 23-year-old black student who is visiting the campus. Officials described the attack as "totally unprovoked." Urbanski is arrested on murder charges, and later hate crime charges are added after authorities investigate his social media accounts, which reveal Urbanski's connection to a racist Facebook page called "Alt-Reich: Nation." If convicted Urbanski could face 20 years in prison, though prosecutors have said they plan to seek life without parole.
May 26, 2017
Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, is arrested after allegedly harassing two young women on a Portland, Oregon train. He told the women to “go back to their country” then allegedly stabbed three bystanders when they intervened. Two, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, and Ricky John Best, 53, died of their wounds. A third, Micah Fletcher, 21, survived. Christian served 13 months in prison in 2002 for having an illegal weapon in the Multnomah County Detention Center and was convicted in 2011 on federal charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He had also expressed a multitude of political views on his Facebook page, and appears to have adopted far-right extremist positions, including an admiration for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, support for a whites-only area in the Pacific Northwest and also support for the removal of mosques. He also gave Nazi salutes at an April “free speech” rally in Portland. Christian may have been involved in an altercation on another Portland train the day before the stabbings, in which he harassed a conductor, saying, "It looks like we have a Christian or Muslim (expletive) bus driver. I'll stab you, too, (expletive).” During his arraignment May 30, Christian shouted, "Get out if you don't like free speech. You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die." He currently faces several charges, including two counts of aggravated murder, attempted murder, two counts of second-degree intimidation and being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon.
July 14, 2017
Alt-right social media conspiracy theorist 33-year-old Lane Maurice Davis, also known as "Seattle4Truth," allegedly stabs his 73-year-old father, Charles "Chuck" Davis, to death at the family home in Skagit County, Washington, after accusing his father of pedophilia. Davis previously interned with former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos and ran his own YouTube page dedicated to various conspiracy theories. Davis pleads not guilty to one count of first-degree murder in an August 2017 hearing, and is held on $1 million bail. Davis is expected to appear in court again in September 2018.
August 12, 2017
Jerry Drake Varnell, 23, of Sayre, Oklahoma, is arrested after a months-long investigation by federal agents after he attempted to remotely detonate what he thought was a thousand-pound vehicular bomb outside a BancFirst building in downtown Oklahoma City. Varnell had expressed sympathy for so-called “III%” ideology, and wanted to start the next revolution. “I’m out for blood,” he allegedly told an FBI informant. “When militias start getting formed I’m going after government officials when I have a team.” Those who support the antigovernment III% movement incorrectly claim that only three percent of the original American colonists fought against the British during the Revolutionary War and therefore were the “true patriots” (estimates based on historical documentation put the number at closer to 20 percent). Supporters of the III% ideology have also been involved in anti-Muslim protests. Varnell allegedly discussed a number of potential targets, including the Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington, D.C., an IRS building in Maryland and a Bank of America center in Texas before settling on the BancFirst building in Oklahoma City. Varnell is charged with attempted destruction of a building used in interstate commerce by means of an explosive. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
August 12, 2017
James Alex Fields, 20, of Maumee, Ohio is arrested in Charlottesville, Virginia. after driving his car at a high rate of speed into a crowd of counter-protesters who were marching in opposition to a “Unite the Right” gathering of 500 to 1,000 neo-Nazis and other supporters of the so-called “alt-right.” Heather Heyer, 32, is killed and 19 others are wounded. After ramming his car into the crowd, Fields flees the scene and is apprehended later. Photographs show Fields rallying with the white supremacist group Vanguard America earlier in the day, and video footage shows him with the group chanting, “Fags, go home, you have no testosterone,” though Vanguard America claims he is not an official member. Fields has long held Nazi and racist views, according to a high school teacher. A Trump supporter and registered Republican, Fields allegedly expressed support for what he perceived were the president’s views on race and for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He attempted to join the military, was initially turned down but managed to enlist in the summer of 2015. According to the Department of Defense, Fields was on active duty for four months but was let go in December 2015 because of a failure to meet training standards. Fields’ Facebook page included white supremacist memes of the alt-right movement, including Pepe the Frog, along with historic photos of German Nazis and white supremacist symbols. Fields also has a history of violence toward his disabled mother, brandishing a knife at her in one instance while in another striking her head and covering her mouth with his hands. He is denied bail and is charged with second-degree murder, hit and run and three counts of malicious wounding.
October 22, 2017
White supremacist Taylor Michael Wilson triggers the emergency brakes on an Amtrak train, traveling from Sacramento, California, to Missouri after breaking into a secure area aboard the train. As Amtrak staff struggles to subdue the 26-year-old Wilson, he repeatedly reaches for a loaded handgun in his waistband. Wilson is arrested in October on charges of felony criminal mischief and use of a deadly weapon and is released in December on bail. Several days later, investigators search Wilson's home revealing more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, racist "alt-right" and white supremacist writings and components commonly used to construct homemade explosive devices. Wilson is arrested for violating multiple federal laws. A relative told authorities that Wilson traveled with members of an alt-right neo-Nazi group to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier that year. According to federal documents, Wilson also allegedly pointed a gun at a black woman driving in Saint Charles in 2016 and vandalized restaurants in Saint Louis with "Whites Only" stickers. Wilson reportedly purchased a flight ticket to the Middle East with plans to fight with ISIS in Syria but decided not to go. In January 2018, Wilson is indicted in federal court on two counts of terrorism and in July pleaded guilty to one charge of terrorism. Wilson could be sentenced to life in prison. On Friday, October 5, 2018, he was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison. The sentencing judge called Wilson a "gun-toting, angry, at times incoherent and other times uncooperative white supremacist."
December 4, 2017
Florida officers receive a tip that 69-year-old Bernandino Gawala Bolatete is planning to carry out a mass shooting at the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida. An undercover officer befriends Bolatete, who repeatedly expresses his hatred of Muslims and states his plans for the shooting. Bolatete is arrested in Jacksonville after he attempts to purchase a gun silencer from an undercover officer. He is charged with knowingly receiving and possessing a silencer not registered to him. In May 2018 Bolatete is found guilty by federal jury and the sentencing hearing is set for August.
December 17, 2017
William Edward Atchison disguises himself as a student at Aztec High School in rural New Mexico and opens fire in the hallway, killing two students before taking his own life. The FBI had previously opened an investigation on 21-year-old Atchison for posts he made on an online forum stating plans for a shooting. He was active on a white nationalist website, The Daily Stormer, where he glorified mass shootings and inquired about assault rifles. However, Atchison could not be charged due to lack of criminal evidence or gun ownership. A detailed schedule for the shooting was found in Atchison's home and an autopsy revealed a hand-drawn swastika and an inscription that read "BUILD WALL" on his body.
December 27, 2017
Nazi sympathizer Nicholas Giampa allegedly shoots and kills the parents of his ex-girlfriend in Reston, Virginia, before turning the gun on himself. Seventeen-year-old Giampa is rushed to the hospital with a brain injury and, after spending weeks in critical condition, is taken to a juvenile detention center on murder charges. While the teen is set to appear before juvenile court, he will eventually be tried as an adult in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Just months before the shooting Giampa mowed a swastika into the grass of a nearby community field. In addition, according to reports from Huffington Post, Giampa operated a Twitter account that posted far-right, neo-Nazi content including images glorifying Adolf Hitler.
December 31, 2017
Police respond to a disturbance at the residence of 37-year-old Matthew Riehl, several miles south of Denver, Colorado, where they are given keys to his apartment and permission to enter from an unnamed co-resident. Police enter the Riehls' home and attempt to speak with him but Riehl locks himself in his room and opens fire at the officers, killing Douglas County sheriff's deputy Zackari Parrish and injuring others before he is shot and killed himself. Later, it was discovered that Riehl shared a number of racist "alt-right" posts on his Facebook page.
January 2, 2016
Armed antigovernment militants occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge following a protest in the nearby town of Burns, Ore., in support of two local ranchers sentenced to prison for setting fires on federal land. Calling themselves Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, the occupiers are led by Ammon Bundy, 40, and brother Ryan Bundy, 43, sons of Cliven Bundy, whose Nevada ranch was the site of an armed standoff with Bureau of Land Management officers in 2014. The Bundys claim they are trying to give federal lands back to “the people.” On January 26, law enforcement authorities arrest several of occupiers as they travel outside the refuge: Ammon and Ryan Bundy; Brian Cavalier, 44; Shawna Cox, 59; Ryan Payne, 32; and Joseph O’Shaughnessy, 45. Police shoot and kill Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, 54, during the confrontation. Antigovernment activist Jon Ritzheimer, 33, is also arrested in Arizona; right-wing talk radio host Pete Santilli, 50, also part of the occupation, is arrested in Burns. The last four remaining militants surrender on February 11. In total, 25 people are arrested and face felony charges of conspiracy to impede officers through force, intimidation and threats. Two others face additional charges for damaging an archaeological site on the refuge.
In October, 2016, seven leaders of the occupation are acquitted, including Ammon and Ryan Bundy, Shawna Cox, David Lee Fry, Jeff Wayne Banta, Kenneth Medenbach and Neil Wampler. Ammon and Ryan Bundy are slated to go on trial in Nevada in federal charges that stem from a standoff with federal officials on their father’s ranch. In March 2017, four other Malheur occupiers—Jason Patrick, Duane Leo Ehmer, Darryl William Thorn and Jake Ryan—are found guilty of several misdemeanor charges, including trespassing on government property and tampering with government vehicles and property.
June 22, 2016
Anti-government militia leader William Keebler attempts to carry out a phony bombing, part of a sting investigation led by an undercover FBI agent posing as a fellow militia member, at the Arizona Strip Bureau of Land Management facility. Keebler assisted the undercover agent in building the bomb, planted the device and tried to detonate the fake bomb remotely multiple times before leaving the site. Keebler is arrested the day after the bombing attempt and is charged with attempting to blow up federal property. Two years earlier, Keebler took part in the armed Bunkerville standoff between federal officers and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Though Keebler was not among those indicted for involvement in the standoff, he was identified and targeted in the FBI sting investigation that led to his arrest on the bomb charges. According to an FBI agent who led the investigation, Keebler "talked about Muslims and killing them." In April 2018, Keebler pleaded guilty to a single charge of attempted destruction of federal property by use of explosive, and was released from jail in July 2018 with three years of probation.
July 7, 2016
Army reservist and Afghanistan veteran Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, shoots 12 police officers, killing five, in downtown Dallas after a Black Lives Matter protest. Two protesters were also wounded. Johnson barricades himself in a building at El Centro College and tells a hostage negotiator he wanted to “kill white people,” especially white officers. Johnson, who had expressed support for several black separatist groups on Facebook, dies when a police robot detonates a bomb near him. Investigators find bomb-making materials, rifles, ammunition, ballistic vests and a personal journal of combat tactics in his home.
July 17, 2016
Gavin Eugene Long, 29, of Kansas City, Missouri, kills three Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officers in a coordinated ambush-style attack then dies in a shootout with law enforcement. Long, a military veteran, went by the name Cosmo Setepenra and had declared himself an antigovernment “sovereign citizen.” He was a member of the black sovereign group United Washitaw de Dugdahmoundyah Mu’ur Nation.
August 27, 2016
Joseph Garguilo, 40, is arrested in Massachusetts by the FBI for allegedly threatening to kill President Obama, burn down a mosque and kill homeland security officers. In his home, investigators find assault rifle ammunition, parts to assemble AR-15 rifles, chemicals to build incendiary explosive devices and handwritten notes threatening violent attacks against Muslims. Garguilo is the subject of an active restraining order that prohibits him from possessing firearms and ammunition. He is charged with being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition.
October 14, 2016
Three Kansas men - Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright and Patrick Eugene Stein - who refer to themselves as "The Crusaders," plot a series of violent anti-Muslim attacks targeting Somali immigrants at an apartment complex and mosque in Garden City. The group was also known as Kansas Security Force, which shares a name with a larger anti-government network called the Three Percent Security Force. After a tip from an informant, FBI officials investigated the trio of men for several months, uncovering that they had been plotting to detonate bombs at the complex and cause a "bloodbath to take the country back" from Muslim "cockroaches." The FBI, using conversations secretly recorded by the informant, arrest the militia group. The three men are convicted in April 2018 and could face life sentences in prison.
April 10, 2015
Robert Doggart, 63, is arrested in Signal Mountain, Tenn., in connection with a plot to kill residents and destroy the school and mosque of Islamberg, a predominantly African-American Muslim hamlet in Hancock, N.Y. Doggart, who claims to be an ordained Christian minister in the Christian National Church (which appears to be an online ordination mill), was also a 2014 congressional candidate who ran and lost as an independent in east Tennessee. He is indicted on one count of soliciting others to violate federal civil rights laws by intentionally damaging or destroying religious property (or intending to do so) because of the religious character of the property. Federal agents began investigating Doggart in February 2015 after he posted on Facebook that a community outside Hancock was planning a terrorist attack and “must be utterly destroyed.” Doggart pleads guilty in May 2015 to a charge of interstate communication threats. He is indicted on a new charge of solicitation to commit a civil rights violation by intending to damage or destroy religious property.
June 17, 2015
Dylann Roof, 21, attends an evening Bible study class at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He opens fire with a semiautomatic handgun, killing nine African-American worshipers, including the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a state senator. Roof reportedly tells people in the church: “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country, and you have to go.” Roof flees to North Carolina, where he is apprehended the next day. On his website, Roof left a manifesto in which he cites the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens for inspiring him. A Facebook photograph shows Roof wearing a jacket with patches representing the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and white-ruled Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). A variety of other photos show Roof with the Confederate battle flag. Friends say he had told them he wanted to start a race war. Roof is charged with nine counts of homicide and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, all charges that could lead to the death penalty.
June 25, 2015
Tyrone Paul Ponthieux, 55, of Las Vegas, is arrested by agents assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force after he allegedly inquires about obtaining a quantity of ammonium nitrate – the same fertilizer used in the Oklahoma City bombing. Ponthieux had, on Facebook in 2014, called for the shooting of “out of control congressmen and senators and Obama” and for using a tree chipper to finish the job. Ponthieux is indicted by a grand jury in November 2015 on one felony count of threatening the life of the president and one count of threatening to assault, kidnap and murder unnamed federal officials. Ponthieux pleads guilty in April 2015 to threatening the president and threatening federal officials.
July 23, 2015
John Russell Houser, 59, opens fire in a crowded movie theater in Lafayette, La., killing two and wounding nine before killing himself. Houser had posted dozens of comments on Internet message boards, including a forum dedicated to the New York chapter of Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. Houser, who praised Adolf Hitler, promoted the discredited link between race and IQ, and viewed the United States as a “financially failing filth farm.” He also expressed interest in white power groups, anti-Semitism, the anti-LGBT Westboro Baptist Church, and a number of conspiracy theories espoused by the antigovernment right. In 2005, Houser registered to attend white supremacist David Duke’s European-American Unity and Rights Organization in New Orleans, and Houser lauded Duke as appearing at one time as “exactly what US [sic] needed.”
October 1, 2015
White supremacist Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer enters a classroom in Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, where he was previously enrolled, and opens fire on students and teachers, killing nine people before committing suicide. According to witnesses, 26-year-old Harper-Mercer asked students about their religious beliefs before shooting them, sparing one victim to deliver a message to the police. The messages, according to authorities, were full of racist hate and glorifications of mass murderers, including expressions of sexual frustration and animosity toward black men. It is widely speculated that Harper-Mercer was motivated by the racist "alt-right"; the Government Accountability office categorized Harper-Mercer's mass shooting as "white supremacist" in an April 2017 report.
November 8, 2015
Five suspects accused of plotting robberies and violence against minorities – including shooting or bombing the occupants of black churches and Jewish synagogues – are arrested in Virginia by the FBI. Arrested on state firearms charges are Robert C. Doyle, 34; Ronald Beasley Chaney III, 33; Charles D. Halderman, 30; Ronald Beasley Chaney Jr., 58; and the latter’s wife, Terry Gunn Chaney, 52. Halderman, who has 17 prior convictions, has ties to the Aryan Brotherhood, while Doyle and Chaney III are reportedly practitioners of a white supremacist version of Asatru, an offshoot of the racist Odinist religion. Both are charged with conspiracy to possess firearms after felony convictions, and Halderman is charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. All three plead not guilty in December 2015. Drug and gun charges are filed against Ronald Chaney; Terry Chaney faces drug charges and abetting a person to possess a firearm after felony conviction. Doyle pleads guilty to conspiracy, robbery, and firearms charges in February 2016. He is sentenced to 17 ½ years in prison in May. Chaney is sentenced in June 2016 to 105 months. Halderman is sentenced in July 2016 to seven years.
November 24, 2015
Four Minnesota men are arrested after shooting and wounding five Black Lives Matter protestors in Minneapolis. The men – Allen Lawrence “Lance” Scarsella III, 23; Nathan Gustavsson, 21; Daniel Macey, 26; and Joseph Backman, 27 – initially connected online and participated in web forums where racist and antigovernment beliefs flourished. They appear to have carefully planned to disrupt the demonstration, and Scarsella appeared in a racially tinged video made a few days before the protest. His phone contained photos of him dressed in camouflage and brandishing guns with others alongside a Confederate flag. Scarsella was planning to livestream the protest to “rile things up.” According to several witness accounts, the men confronted protestors and were then chased into an alley, where one pulled a gun and shot into the group of protestors. After fleeing, Scarsella confesses to a police officers who is a former high school friend. He is charged with assault with a deadly weapon and armed riot. Macey, Gustavsson and Backman also face riot charges.
November 27, 2015
Robert Lewis Dear Jr., 57, armed with four rifles, opens fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., and holds it for five hours; he apparently intends to light propane tanks that he had brought. Three people die, including a campus police officer from a nearby University of Colorado branch campus, and nine others are wounded, including five police officers. Dear is taken into custody and makes statements to investigators about “no more baby parts,” an apparent reference to the controversy over a video accusing Planned Parenthood of selling fetal tissue and “parts of fetuses” for medical research. In court later, Dear claims he is trying to “protect the babies” and at one point calls himself a “warrior for the babies.” An ex-wife claims that Dear, who has had prior brushes with the law, had been opposed to Planned Parenthood for decades and had once put glue in the locks of a clinic near their home. Dear admits to the shootings, and faces 179 felony counts and a possible death sentence.
March 27, 2014
Robert James Talbot Jr., 38, is arrested in Katy, Texas, by FBI agents who say he was about to rob an armored car. He is alleged to have been plotting to use C-4 explosives and weapons to rob banks and armored cars, blow up government buildings and mosques, and kill police officers. Prosecutors say he is behind a Facebook page called “American Insurgent Movement,” on which he posted antigovernment screeds, called for violence against public officials, and ranted about Muslims and LGBT people. He used the page to attempt to persuade others to join his cause. Talbot faces federal charges of attempted interference with commerce by robbery, solicitation to commit a crime of violence and possession of an explosive material. The FBI opened an investigation into his activities in August 2013 after learning of his alleged desire to recruit others into terrorist activities. Talbot pleads guilty to all charges on Oct. 3, 2014. He faces up to 30 years in prison and $375,000 in fines.
April 13, 2014
Frazier Glenn Miller (aka Frazier Glenn Cross), 73, a longtime racist and anti-Semite, is arrested after a gunman opens fire at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement community in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. Three people are killed, including a 14-year-old Eagle Scout and his grandfather. Miller, a retired Army veteran and Green Beret, is the founder and former leader of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, which he ran as paramilitary organizations in the 1980s. He was successfully sued by the SPLC for operating an illegal paramilitary organization and for using intimidation tactics against African Americans. Miller went underground in 1987 after he violated the court settlement and was convicted on criminal contempt charges. He was caught and served three years in federal prison on weapons charges in connection with plans to commit robberies and assassinate SPLC founder Morris Dees. As part of a plea deal, he testified against other Klan members in a 1988 sedition trial.
May 23, 2014
Elliot Rodger goes on a killing spree in Isla Vista, California, shortly after uploading a video to YouTube titled "Elliot Rodger's Retribution" and emailing what was subsequently described as his manifesto, "My Twisted World," to a number of people. In the video and manifesto, he lays out the reasons behind the killings: his frustration over not being able to find a girlfriend, his hatred of women and his contempt for racial minorities and interracial couples. Rodger stabs and kills three men in his apartment before driving to a nearby sorority house where he kills two female members, then going to a delicatessen where he shoots and kills a male student. He then speeds through Isla Vista, shooting at pedestrians before exchanging gunfire with police. Rodger crashes his car and police find him dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Rodger had expressed his violent hatred for women earlier in several postings at a misogynistic website called PUAHate.
June 8, 2014
Jerad Miller, 31, and his wife, Amanda, 22, enter a pizza restaurant in Las Vegas, Nev., where two police officers are eating lunch. Jerad Miller fatally shoots officer Igor Soldo, 31. As his partner, Alyn Beck, 41, tries to react, Miller shoots him in the throat, then both Millers shoot Beck several times. The pair leave a swastika and a Gadsden flag on Beck’s body. The yellow flag, a symbol used by the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, features a coiled snake with the words “Don’t Tread On Me.” On Soldo’s body, they place a note: “This is the start of the revolution.” The couple leave the restaurant and walk to a nearby Walmart store, where Amanda Miller shoots and kills Joseph Wilcox, 31, before the Millers barricade themselves in the back of the store. Jerad is shot to death by police, and Amanda kills herself. The couple held strong antigovernment views. Jerad Miller’s Facebook page contained calls to impeach President Obama as well as statements about conspiracy theories popular among Patriot groups. Weeks earlier, the pair had been present at the Cliven Bundy ranch in Nevada, where militias had gathered in an armed standoff with the federal Bureau of Land Management over a grazing fee dispute. The Millers perceived law enforcement as “oppressors” and reportedly told neighbors they planned to kill police officers.
June 15, 2014
Brent Douglas Cole, a sovereign citizen camping in northern California, opens fire on two law enforcement officers investigating vehicles that had been abandoned at a wooded campground near Nevada City. Cole had a history of run-ins with law enforcement, including several other weapons-related incidents, and an even longer history of interest in far-right internet conspiracies. On one site, Cole described himself as a "sovereign American Citizen attempting to thwart the obvious conspiracy and subterfuges of powers inimical to the United States." In October 2014, a federal grand jury returns a three-count indictment against Cole, charging him with assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon that inflicted bodily injury and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence. In 2015, Cole is sentenced to 29 years and seven months in prison.
July 10, 2014
John David Huggins is arrested after police learn he was building a grenade-like bomb and discussing plans to kill police officers in Tremonton, Utah. In charging documents, the U.S. Attorney's office says Huggins also had instructions for making bombs and planned on blowing up bridges and other infrastructure to prevent help from reaching his intended victims. Huggins has a long history on the anti-government far-right. Records obtained by the SPLC show that he bought racist material in 1992 from the National Alliance, then the largest neo-Nazi organization in the United States. In March 2015, after pleading guilty to possession of an unregistered destructive device, Higgins is charged with several felonies and sentenced to 27 months in federal prison.
August 11, 2014
Douglas Lee Leguin, a sovereign citizen, reports a dumpster fire in a well-to-do neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, and begins shooting at firefighters who respond. Hours before the attack, Leguin leaves his house with an AK-47, ammunition and propane canisters. Later, CBS reported he told emergency operators he was "seceding from the nation" because he was upset with the current state of the government, and that he was heavily armed. Negotiators eventually persuade Leguin to surrender. According to police, Leguin had recently become depressed and spent hours dreaming of starting his own country. No one was hurt in the gunfire. Leguin is charged with seven counts of aggravated assault and is sentenced to 20 years in prison.
November 28, 2014
Armed with a .22-caliber rifle and an assault rifle, Larry Steve McQuilliams, 49, fires more than 100 rounds at a police station, a Mexican consulate, a federal courthouse and a bank in downtown Austin, Texas, during the pre-dawn hours. He also tries to set the consulate on fire before he is shot dead by police. No one is hurt in the attack, which causes extensive damage to the buildings. In a rental van, police find multiple propane cans fashioned into homemade bombs and a map of 34 targets, including two churches. They also find Vigilantes of Christendom. The 1990 book inspired a white supremacist doctrine known as Phineas Priesthood, which finds divine justification for violence against those seen by such “priests” as enemies of God. The Austin police chief describes McQuilliams, a felon, as a “homegrown American terrorist trying to terrorize our people” and says a note found in the book “discusses his rank as a priest in his fight against anti-God people.” Statements made in police interviews also tie him to ultra-conservative groups with anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT and racist views.
June 18, 2013
Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, and Eric J. Feight, 54, are arrested in upstate New York after a yearlong investigation and charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists for use of a weapon of mass destruction. Crawford is a member of the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and an industrial mechanic with General Electric; Feight is an outside contractor for GE with engineering skills. Officials say the two men, who call themselves “The Guild,” are well along the way toward building a truck-borne radiation weapon could be turned on remotely and that they hoped to use in the mass murder of Muslims and others. Crawford, who was said to be angry at President Obama, allegedly referred to the device as “Hiroshima on a light switch.” The men are arrested after unsuccessfully seeking funding from Jewish groups and the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. In January 2014, Crawford is indicted for conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and related charges, while his alleged accomplice is reportedly in talks about a plea agreement that would involve testifying against Crawford.
Aug. 18, 2013
David Allen Brutsche, 42, and a woman described as Brutsche’s roommate, Devon Campbell Newman, 67, are arrested in Las Vegas after a months-long investigation into an alleged plot to kidnap and execute police officers. Both Brutsche, a convicted felon and registered sex offender, and Newman consider themselves “sovereign citizens” and have conducted recruiting seminars on sovereign ideology, officials say. Authorities say they intended to kidnap a police officer at random, detain the officer in a crude jail in a vacant house, “try” the officer in a “common-law” court, then execute the officer. The two are charged with felony conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and attempted kidnapping. Newman pleads guilty in December 2013 to conspiracy to commit false imprisonment, a misdemeanor, and is sentenced to a year of probation and ordered to have no contact with Brutsche. Brutsche, who renounces sovereign citizen ideology during court proceedings, pleads guilty in February 2014 to conspiracy to kidnap police officers and receives five years’ probation. In a separate case involving failure to register as a sex offender, he receives 188 days in jail in addition to time served.
Oct. 4, 2013
Iraq War veteran Jedediah Stout, 29, is arrested in Joplin, Missouri for attempted arson of the Joplin Planned Parenthood clinic. Stout admits to investigators that he is also responsible for a fire that destroyed the Islamic Society Mosque in Joplin in July 2012. Stout refers to himself as a “conservative Christian” and tells investigators that he doesn’t like Islam and doesn’t believe in abortion. He is sentenced in October 2016 to 63 months in prison.
November 1, 2013
Paul Anthony Ciancia opens fire at Los Angeles International Airport, killing U.S. Transportation Security Administration officer Gerardo Hernandez at a security checkpoint and injuring six others. According to police, Ciancia was carrying a bag packed with a semiautomatic .223-caliber Smith & Wesson M&P-15 rifle, five 30-round magazines and hundreds of additional rounds of ammunition. When he is arrested, Ciancia is found carrying a one-page "manifesto" that mentions "fiat currency" and the New World Order, both topics of high interest to the militia movement. Ciancia texted his sister the day of the attack claiming that he had to "stand up to these tyrants" and described himself as "a pissed off patriot trying to water the tree of liberty." In 2016, Ciancia pleads guilty to 11 felony counts, including murder, and is sentenced to life in prison.
April 17, 2012
Joseph Benjamin Thomas and Samuel James Johnson of Mendota Heights, Minn., are indicted on federal weapons and drug charges after a probe of their alleged plans to create an “Aryan Liberation Movement” and attack minorities, leftists and government officials. Prosecutors say Thomas planned to attack the Mexican consulate in St. Paul with a truck loaded with flaming barrels of oil and gasoline. Johnson, a former leader of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement with prior convictions for armed crimes, was scouting for a training compound in Illinois or Minnesota and seeking to recruit others into his group, court papers say. In the end, Johnson pleads guilty in 2012 to being a felon in possession of weapons and is sentenced to 15 years in prison. Thomas pleads to intent to distribute 50 grams of methamphetamine. In April 2013, he is sentenced to 10 years in prison.
June 17, 2012
Anson Chi, 33, is seriously injured when he detonates a bomb in an effort to destroy an Atmos Energy natural gas pipeline in Plano, Texas. Chi is an avid tax protester who has posted numerous videos, statements and rants on the Internet about the alleged evils of the Federal Reserve, the IRS, President Obama and the government. He had been a fugitive since 2009, when he violated probation in California on a weapons charge. Chi pleads guilty in 2013 to possessing an unregistered explosive and malicious use of an explosive, and is sentenced to 22 years in prison.
August 5, 2012
Neo-Nazi skinhead Wade Michael Page, 40, opens fire with a 9 mm handgun at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., killing six and critically wounding three, including a police officer. Wounded by police, Page then shoots and kills himself at the scene. A U.S. Army veteran who was discharged in 1998 for “patterns of misconduct,” Page was a “patched” member of the Northern Hammerskins, a chapter of the Hammerskin Nation, a violent, racist skinhead group. He was also a fixture on the white power music scene who played in the band End Apathy and several others.
August 16, 2012
Seven people with ties to the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement allegedly ambush and murder Louisiana sheriff’s deputies Brandon Nielsen, 34, and Jeremy Triche, 27. The attack comes in a trailer park near New Orleans, where the deputies pursued suspects following the shooting and wounding of another deputy working as an off-duty security guard at an oil refinery. Those arrested include the group’s leader, Terry Lyn Smith, 44, Smith’s wife, Chanel Skains, and his sons, Derrik Smith and Brian Smith. Others are Brittany Keith, Kyle David Joekel and Teniecha Bright. Brian Smith is charged with first-degree murder and the others with related charges. The group, which traveled the country doing construction work, possess a stockpile of weapons. Its members have outstanding warrants in Nebraska, Tennessee and Louisiana.
September 4, 2012
Christopher Lacy, 36, shoots California Highway Patrol officer Kenyon Youngstrom at close range after the officer stops Lacy’s vehicle, which had an obstructed license plate, on I-680 near Alamo. Lacy is fatally shot by another trooper, and Youngstrom dies the next day. An investigation into Lacy’s background reveals a large amount of antigovernment “sovereign citizens” literature on several computers at his home.
December 21, 2012
FBI agents arrest Richard Schmidt, the owner of a sporting goods store in Bowling Green, Ohio, for trafficking in counterfeit goods and discover a cache of 18 weapons in his home and store, including AR-15 assault rifles, 9 mm and Sig Sauer pistols and shotguns, and more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition. Schmidt is unable to own the weapons legally because he is a felon who served 13 years for murdering a Latino man and wounding two others in a 1989 traffic dispute. Officials also find evidence of Schmidt’s neo-Nazi views, including video and Nazi paraphernalia, and the Anti-Defamation League identifies him as a longtime member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. Authorities also discover a notebook they say Schmidt was using to track Detroit-area Jewish and African-American leaders, apparently as a prelude to some kind of attack. Schmidt is indicted in Toledo in January 2013 on three federal counts of possessing illegal firearms, body armor and ammunition, and one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods. He pleads guilty in July 2013 to violating federal firearms laws and is sentenced in December to nearly six years in prison.
Jan. 14, 2011
Federal agents in Arizona arrest Jeffery Harbin, a member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, for allegedly building homemade grenades and pipe bombs that he apparently intended to supply to anti-immigrant groups patrolling the Mexican border. A prosecutor says that Harbin constructed the devices, using model rocket engines and aluminum power, "in such a way as to maximize human carnage." Harbin is indicted on two counts of possessing a destructive device and a third of transporting destructive devices. Harbin is the son of Jerry Harbin, a Phoenix-area activist with past ties to the neo-Nazi National Alliance and the racist Council of Conservative Citizens. In September 2011, Jeffery Harbin pleads guilty to making and transporting bombs in a plea bargain and is sentenced to two years in prison.
January 14, 2011
Jason Walter Barnwell, 37, of Evening Shade, Arkansas, and Gary Don Dodson of Waldron, Arkansas, throw a Molotov cocktail through the window of an interracial couple's home in Hardy, Arkansas. Barnwell, described as a leader of a "combat division" of neo-Nazi skinhead gang Blood & Honour, pleads guilty to federal civil rights and firearms charges in 2011 and is sentenced to 20 years in prison. Dodson pleads guilty to similar charges later that year and is eventually sentenced to 15 years in prison. According to an FBI agent, Barnwell once hung a black Ken doll with a noose around its neck on his front porch.
Jan. 17, 2011
Bomb technicians defuse a sophisticated improvised explosive device (IED) found in a backpack along the Spokane, Wash., route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade with 1,500 marchers. Using forensic clues found in the dismantled bomb, officials about two months later identify and arrest Kevin William Harpham, a longtime neo-Nazi. Harpham had posted more than 1,000 messages to the neo-Nazi Vanguard News Network since 2004, when he was a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. Harpham also had contributed to the white supremacist Aryan Alternative newspaper. He is indicted on one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and one count of possessing an IED. Later, federal hate crime charges are added. In December 2011, Harpham was sentenced to 32 years after pleading guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and placing that bomb to carry out a hate crime.
March 10, 2011
Six members of the antigovernment Alaska Peacemakers Militia, including its leader, Francis Schaeffer Cox, 28, are arrested and charged with plotting to kill or kidnap state troopers and a Fairbanks judge. The group already has a large cache of weapons, including a .50-caliber machine gun, grenades and a grenade launcher. Cox earlier identified himself as a “sovereign citizen.” Cox is convicted in June 2012 on nine counts, including conspiring to kill a judge and law enforcement officials. He is sentenced in January 2013 to almost 26 years in federal prison. Lonnie Vernon, 56, and his wife, Karen, 66, plead guilty in August to charges they plotted to kill a federal judge and an IRS agent involved in a tax case against them. The Vernons are also sentenced in January 2013. Lonnie receives almost 25 years in federal prison while his wife receives 12 years. Another member, Coleman Barney, 38, is found guilty of weapons charges and sentenced in September 2012 to five years in federal prison.
May 14, 2011
Three masked men break into the Madrasah Islamiah, an Islamic center in Houston, and douse prayer rugs with gasoline in an apparent attempt to burn the center down. Images of the men are captured on surveillance cameras, but they are not identified. The fire is put out before doing major damage.
May 25, 2011
A man with a long history of menacing abortion clinics is arrested on weapons charges after he accidentally shoots a pistol through the door of a Madison, Wis., motel room. Ralph Lang, 63, tells police he planned to kill a doctor and workers at a nearby Planned Parenthood clinic. Lang is sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2013.
July 21, 2011
Self-described "Moorish national" Joseph M. Tesi opens fire on a Colleyville, Texas, police officer who followed him to a nearby town, but instead is shot himself, in the face and the foot, by the officer after they exchange gunfire. The officer recognized Tesi as the man who had sent a court a note threatening "deadly force" against officials in a long-running dispute over traffic tickets. In his writings, Tesi used obscure language favored by sovereign citizens, arguing that police had no right to regulate his travel. He is found guilty of aggravated assault on a public servant in 2012 and sentenced to 35 years in state prison.
August 24, 2011
Cody Seth Crawford, 24, is arrested on federal charges accusing him of the Nov. 28, 2010, arson of the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis, Ore. The firebombing occurred two days after a former Oregon State University student was arrested in a plot to detonate a car bomb during Portland's annual tree-lighting. Crawford had ranted about Muslims and described himself as a Christian warrior after the arson. In early 2014, Crawford was still awaiting trial.
October 5, 2011
White supremacist ex-convict David "Joey" Pedersen, 31, and his girlfriend, Holly Ann Grigsby, 24, are arrested in California after a murderous rampage in three states. Grigsby tells police that she and Pedersen "were on their way to Sacramento to kill more Jews." The first killed were Pedersen's father and stepmother in Everett, Wash. Another man was killed in Lafayette, Ore., because the pair thought he was Jewish. An African-American man was found shot to death in Eureka, Calif. Pederson earlier served time for threatening to kill the federal judge who handled the Ruby Ridge case of white separatist Randy Weaver. Pederson pleads guilty in March 2012 to killing his father and stepmother, and receives two life sentences. He still faces federal charges in all four murders. Grigsby pleads not guilty and awaits trial.
November 1, 2011
Four members of an unnamed North Georgia militia are arrested in an alleged plot to bomb federal buildings, attack Atlanta and other cities with deadly ricin, and murder law enforcement officials. The men – Frederick Thomas, 73, Samuel J. Crump, 68, Dan Roberts, 67, and Ray H. Adams, 65 – allegedly discussed "taking out" a list of officials to "make the country right again" and scouted buildings in Atlanta to bomb. Authorities say the plot was inspired by an online novel, Absolved, written by longtime Alabama militiaman Mike Vanderboegh. Thomas, the accused ringleader, and Roberts plead guilty in April 2012 to charges of conspiring to possess explosives and firearms. Each is sentenced in August 2012 to five years in federal prison for conspiring to obtain an unregistered explosive device. Crump and Adams are convicted in January 2014 of conspiring to produce a toxic agent to poison government officials. In November 2014, they are each sentenced to 10 years in prison.
December 10, 2011
Four Army soldiers at Fort Stewart, Ga., later identified as members of the terror group Forever Enduring, Always Ready (FEAR), are arrested in the murder of 19-year-old former soldier and FEAR member Michael Roark and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany York. The two were apparently killed because FEAR leader Isaac Aguigui, 22, feared Roark would talk about the group’s plans to take over the Army base, overthrow the government, assassinate a future president, and blow up a dam and poison the apple crop in the state of Washington. Pfc. Aguigui funded the group, buying $87,000 in weapons and a large amount of drugs with a $500,000 insurance payment he received after the death of his pregnant wife. Pfc. Michael Burnett pleads guilty and agrees to testify against his FEAR comrades. In 2012, seven more people are arrested in connection with FEAR’s activities. In April 2013, the Army charges Aguigui with killing his wife, whose death was initially ruled accidental, and their unborn child. In July 2013, Aguigui pleads guilty in the murders of York and Roark, and is sentenced to life in prison. Two other soldiers, Pvt. Christopher Salmon and Sgt. Anthony Peden, are expected to be tried in the double murder in 2014. A court martial for Aguigui in his family’s death was also expected.
December 18, 2011
Far-right survivalist Eli Franklin Myers III shoots two Pennsylvania state troopers after they pull him over and cite him for expired vehicle registration and no proof of insurance. Immediately after being cited, Myers steps out of his car and begins firing at the two officers. John David Dryer, a 46-year-old part-time officer, is killed in the encounter, and a second officer, Robert V. Caldwell III, is badly injured. Myers then flees back to his home where a police sharpshooter kills him during a 10-hour standoff.
Feb. 18, 2010
Joseph Andrew Stack, who had earlier attended meetings of radical anti-tax groups in California, sets fire to his own house and then flies his single-engine plane into an Austin, Texas, building housing IRS offices. Stack and an IRS manager are killed, and 13 others are injured. Stack leaves a long online rant about the IRS and the tax code, politicians and corporations.
March 25, 2010
A man later identified as Brody James Whitaker opens fire on two Florida state troopers during a routine traffic stop on I-75 in Sumter County. Whitaker flees, crashing his vehicle and continuing on foot. He is arrested two weeks later in Connecticut, where he challenges the authority of a judge and declares himself a “sovereign,” not American, citizen. Sovereigns typically believe that police have no right to regulate road travel. Whitaker is later extradited to Florida to face charges of assaulting and fleeing from a police officer. He is sentenced to life in prison in January 2012.
March 27-28, 2010
Nine members of the Hutaree Militia are arrested in raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, and are charged with seditious conspiracy and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction. The group, whose website said it was preparing for the imminent arrival of the anti-Christ, allegedly planned to murder a Michigan police officer, then use bombs and homemade missiles to kill other officers attending the funeral, all in a bid to set off a war with the government. Joshua Clough pleads guilty to a weapons charge in December 2011. A federal judge dismisses charges against seven members of the group during a trial in March 2012, saying their hatred of law enforcement did not amount to a conspiracy. Militia leader David Stone and his son Joshua Stone plead guilty to gun charges two days after the trial. In August 2012, a federal judge chooses not to send the Stones back to prison. They are each fined $100 and placed on two years’ supervision. Another member, Jacob Ward, is acquitted in 2012.
April 15, 2010
Matthew Fairfield, who is president of a local chapter of an antigovernment “Patriot” organization called the Oath Keepers, is indicted on 28 explosives charges, 25 counts of receiving stolen property and one count of possessing criminal tools. Authorities searching his home discover a napalm bomb built by Fairfield, along with a computer carrying child pornography. Fairfield pleads guilty to explosives charges and is sentenced in May 2011 to 16 years. In September 2011, four years are added for obstruction of justice, to run concurrently with the longer sentence. Prosecutors drop the child pornography charges in exchange for Fairfield’s guilty plea to obstruction.
April 30, 2010
Darren Huff, an Oath Keeper from Georgia, is arrested and charged with planning the armed takeover of a Madisonville, Tenn., courthouse and “arrest” of 24 local, state and federal officials. Authorities say Huff was angry about the April 1 arrest there of Walter Francis Fitzpatrick III, a leader of the far-right American Grand Jury movement that seeks to have grand juries indict President Obama for treason. Several others in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement accuse Huff of white supremacist and anti-Semitic attitudes in Internet postings. He is sentenced in May 2012 to four years in federal prison.
May 10, 2010
Sandlin Matthew Smith detonates a pipe bomb at a rear entrance to a mosque in Jacksonville, Fla., while worshippers are inside. Armed only with a fuzzy videotape, authorities only identify Smith, based on talking to witnesses to whom he admits the attack, a year later. They track Smith, a bus driver from Julington Creek, Fla., to a campsite near Fairview, Okla., where he resists arrest with a gun and is killed. A search of Smith’s two homes turns up explosive materials.
May 20, 2010
A father and son team of “sovereign citizens” who believe police have no right to regulate road travel murder West Memphis, Ark., police officers Robert Brandon Paudert, 39, and Thomas William “Bill” Evans, 38, during a routine traffic stop on an I-40 exit ramp. The incident begins when Jerry Kane, 45, starts to argue with the officers over his bogus vehicle paperwork and then pushes Evans into a roadside ditch. Kane’s 16-year-old son then kills both officers with an AK-47 before the pair flees. Authorities catch up with them about 45 minutes later. In the ensuing shootout, two more officers are badly wounded and both Kanes are killed. The pair had been traveling the country offering seminars in bogus sovereign techniques for avoiding foreclosure and related matters.
July 18, 2010
An unemployed parolee with two bank robbery convictions, apparently enraged at liberals and what he sees as the “left-wing agenda” of Congress, allegedly opens fire on California Highway Patrol troopers who pull him over in Oakland. No one is killed, but two troopers are slightly injured and Byron Williams is shot in the arms and legs. Williams allegedly later tells authorities that he was on his way to attack offices of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Tides Foundation, a liberal organization that, although little known to most Americans, has been repeatedly pilloried on air by Fox News host Glenn Beck. In March 2014, a jury convicts Williams of four counts of premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer and three counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
July 21, 2010
Attorney Todd Getgen is shot to death at a gun range in Cumberland County, Penn., and his weapon, a silenced AR-15 rifle, is stolen. Authorities arrest prison guard Raymond Peake nine days later, saying Peake was trying to accumulate weapons for an unnamed organization that intended to overthrow the government. Fellow prison guard Thomas Tuso is also arrested for allegedly helping Peake hide Getgen’s custom-built weapon. Peake is sentenced in 2012 to life in prison. Tuso is sentenced in 2013 to 11 to 23 months in prison.
August 30, 2010
White supremacist Wayde Lynn Kurt is arrested in Spokane, Wash., on federal gun and forgery charges. Authorities later release audio recordings to support their allegation that he was planning a terrorist attack he called his "final solution," which included killing President Obama. Wayde, a convicted felon who is associated with neo-Nazis and Odinists, is sentenced in May 2012 to 13 years in prison on firearms and false identification convictions after federal prosecutors sought and received a “terrorism enhancement” to his sentence.
Sept. 2, 2010
A pipe bomb is thrown through the window of a closed Planned Parenthood clinic in Madera, Calif., along with a note that reads, “Murder our children? We have a ‘choice’ too.” The note is signed ANB, apparently short for the American Nationalist Brotherhood. Six months later, law enforcement officials arrest school bus driver Donny Eugene Mower, who allegedly also threatened a local Islamic Center and has the word “Peckerwood,” a reference to a white supremacist gang, tattooed on his chest. Mower reportedly confesses to the attack and pleads guilty to arson, damaging religious property and violating the Freedom of Access to Clinics Act. He is sentenced in January 2012 to five years in prison and three years of supervised release. He must also pay $26,000 in restitution.
Sept. 7, 2010
The FBI arrests 26-year-old Justin Carl Moose, a self-described “freedom fighter” and “Christian counterpart to Osama bin Laden,” for allegedly planning to blow up a North Carolina abortion clinic. After earlier receiving tips that Moose was posting threats of violence against abortion providers and information about explosives on his Facebook page, the FBI set up a sting operation to capture him. Moose later pleads guilty to distributing information on manufacturing and use of an explosive and is sentenced to 30 months in prison. He is released in November 2012.
Sept. 19, 2010
An antigovernment extremist with ties to the separatist Republic of Texas organization opens fire on an oil company worker and two sheriff’s deputies who show up at his property in West Odessa, Texas, to access an oil well to which the company has rights. Victor White, 55, wounds all three men before they retreat, and a 22-hour standoff follows. White eventually surrenders and is charged with three counts of attempted capital murder of a peace officer, one count of attempted capital murder, and aggravated assault. He is sentenced to life in prison in 2012.
November 17, 2010
Curtis Scrivner, a sovereign citizen facing charges of menacing with a deadly weapon, disorderly conduct and two counts of possession of a dangerous weapon, is killed in a gun battle in Riggins, Idaho, that begins after law enforcement officers try to arrest him for sending a threatening letter to the court. In the letter, Scrivner warned that police had violated his rights "protected by the second and fourth amendments to the Constitution," and added, "I know this as I have studied law as an ex-cop. Your court and attorneys should know this, as it is your job to know."
January 21, 2009
On the day after Barack Obama is inaugurated as the nation's first black president, Keith Luke of Brockton, Mass., is arrested after shooting three black immigrants from Cape Verde, killing two of them, as part of a racially motivated killing spree. The two murders are apparently only part of Luke's plan to kill black, Latino and Jewish people. After being captured by police, he reportedly says he planned to go to an Orthodox synagogue near his home that night and "kill as many Jews as possible." Police say Luke, a white man who apparently had no contact with white supremacists but spent the previous six months reading racist websites, told them he was "fighting for a dying race." Luke also says he formed his racist views in large part after watching videos on Podblanc, a racist video-sharing website run by longtime white supremacist Craig Cobb. When he later appears in court for a hearing, Luke, charged with murder, kidnapping and aggravated rape, has etched a swastika into his own forehead, apparently using a jail razor. He is convicted of first-degree murder in May 2013 and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
April 4, 2009
Three Pittsburgh police officers — Paul Sciullo III, Stephen Mayhle and Eric Kelly — are fatally shot and a fourth, Timothy McManaway, is wounded after responding to a domestic dispute at the home of Richard Andrew Poplawski, who had posted his racist and anti-Semitic views on white supremacist websites. In one post, Poplawski talks about wanting a white supremacist tattoo. He also reportedly tells a friend that America is controlled by a cabal of Jews, that U.S. troops may soon be used against American citizens, and that he fears a ban on guns is coming. Poplawski later allegedly tells investigators that he fired extra bullets into the bodies of two of the officers “just to make sure they were dead” and says he “thought I got that one, too” when told that the fourth officer survived. More law enforcement officers are killed during the incident than in any other single act of violence by a domestic political extremist since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Poplawski is convicted of three counts of first-degree murder in 2011 and sentenced to death.
April 25, 2009
Joshua Cartwright, a Florida National Guardsman, allegedly shoots to death two Okaloosa County, Fla., sheriff's deputies — Burt Lopez and Warren "Skip" York — at a gun range as the officers attempt to arrest Cartwright on domestic violence charges. After fleeing the scene, Cartwright is fatally shot during a gun battle with pursuing officers. Cartwright's wife later tells investigators that her husband was "severely disturbed" that Barack Obama has been elected president. He also reportedly believed the U.S. government was conspiring against him. The sheriff tells reporters that Cartwright had been interested in joining a militia group.
May 31, 2009
Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion extremist who was involved with the antigovernment “freemen” movement in the 1990s, allegedly shoots to death Kansas late-term abortion provider George Tiller as the doctor is serving as an usher in his Wichita church. Adherents of “freemen” ideology claim they are “sovereign citizens” not subject to federal and other laws, and often form their own “common law” courts and issue their own license plates. It was one of those homemade plates that led Topeka police to stop Roeder in April 1996, when a search of his trunk revealed a pound of gunpowder, a 9-volt battery wired to a switch, blasting caps and ammunition. A prosecutor in that case called Roeder a “substantial threat to public safety,” citing Roeder’s refusal to acknowledge the court’s authority. But his conviction in the 1996 case is ultimately overturned. In the Tiller case, Roeder is convicted of first-degree murder in January 2010 and is sentenced to life in prison.
June 10, 2009
Eighty-eight-year-old James Von Brunn, a longtime neo-Nazi, walks up to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and shoots to death security guard Stephen Johns before he is himself shot and critically wounded by other officers. Von Brunn, who earlier served six years in connection with his 1981 attempt to kidnap the members of the Federal Reserve Board at the point of a sawed-off shotgun, has been active in the white supremacist movement for more than four decades. In the early 1970s, he worked at the Holocaust-denying Noontide Press, and in subsequent decades, he comes to know many of the key leaders of the radical right. A search of von Brunn’s car after the museum attack turns up a list of other apparent targets, including the White House, the Capitol, the National Cathedral and The Washington Post. A note allegedly left by Von Brunn in his car reads: “You want my weapons; this is how you’ll get them … the Holocaust is a lie … Obama was created by Jews. Obama does what his Jew owners tell him to do. Jews captured America’s money. Jews control the mass media.” Von Brunn is charged with murder but dies in 2010 while awaiting trial.
June 12, 2009
Shawna Forde — the executive director of Minutemen American Defense (MAD), an anti-immigrant vigilante group that conducts “citizen patrols” on the Arizona-Mexico border — is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for her role in the slayings of a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter in Arivaca, Ariz. Forde orchestrated the May 30 home invasion because she believed the man was a narcotics trafficker and wanted to steal drugs and cash to fund her group. Authorities say the murders, including the killing of the child, were part of the plan. Also arrested and charged with murder are the alleged triggerman, MAD Operations Director Jason Eugene “Gunny” Bush, and Albert Robert Gaxiola, 42, a local member of MAD. Authorities say that Bush had ties to the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations in Idaho, and that Forde has spoken of recruiting its members. Forde is sentenced to death in February 2011, and Bush is sentenced to death in April 2011. Gaxiola is sentenced to life in prison.
June 25, 2009
Longtime white supremacist Dennis Mahon and his brother Daniel are indicted in Arizona in connection with a mail bomb sent in 2004 to a diversity office in Scottsdale that injured three people. Mahon, formerly tied to the neo-Nazi White Aryan Resistance (WAR) group, allegedly left a phone message at the office saying that "the White Aryan Resistance is growing in Scottsdale. There's a few white people who are standing up." In a related raid, agents search the Indiana home of Tom Metzger, founder of WAR, but he is not arrested. On the same day, white supremacist Robert Joos is arrested in rural Missouri, apparently because phone records show that Dennis Mahon's first call after the mail bombing was to Joos' cell phone. Joos is charged with being a felon in possession of firearms and is sentenced in May 2010 to 6½ years in prison. Dennis Mahon is found guilty of three bombing charges in February 2012. He is sentenced to 40 years in prison. Daniel Mahon is acquitted of the one charge against him.
August 4, 2009
George Sodini, a 48-year-old male supremacist, walks into a women's dance class at the LA Fitness center in Collier Township, Pennsylvania, with several concealed firearms. Sodini turns off the lights, takes out two handguns and opens fire on the women in the room, killing three and wounding nine others. According to police, Sodini fired 52 shots before taking his own life. On his website, Sodini chronicled years of sexual frustration and romantic rejection by women, along with a nine-month account of plans to carry out the shooting.
June 8, 2008
Six people, most of them tied to the militia movement, are arrested in rural north-central Pennsylvania after officials find stockpiles of assault rifles, improvised explosives and homemade weapons, at least some of them apparently intended for use in terrorist attacks on U.S. officials. Agents find 16 homemade bombs during a search of the residence of Pennsylvania Citizens Militia recruiter Bradley T. Kahle, who allegedly tells authorities that he intended to shoot black people from a rooftop in Pittsburgh and also predicts civil war if either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton is elected president. A raid on the property of Morgan Jones results in the seizure of 73 weapons, including a homemade flame thrower, a machine that supposedly shot bolts of electricity, and an improvised cannon. Also arrested and charged with weapons violations are Marvin E. Hall, his girlfriend Melissa Huet and Perry Landis, who allegedly tells undercover agents he wanted to kill Gov. Ed Rendell. Landis is sentenced in 2009 to time served plus two years of supervised release. Hall is sentenced in January 2010 to time served with three years of probation. Huet spends years trying to get the charges against her – helping a convicted felon possess a firearm – dismissed. In July 2013, federal prosecutors drop gun charges against her.
July 27, 2008
Jim David Adkisson, 58, an out-of-work truck driver and military veteran, enters a Unitarian Universalist church in Knoxville, Tennessee, during a children’s musical performance and opens fire with a shotgun before being overpowered by congregants. Two adults die and seven others are wounded. Adkisson allegedly tells investigators that liberals should be killed because they are ruining the country and that Democrats, aided by media, are also responsible. In a letter Adkisson leaves in his truck before he enters the church, he expresses hatred for LGBT people, black people, and what he called “the liberal movement” and he refers to the Unitarian Church, which his ex-wife had attended years before, as “the fountainhead, the veritable wellspring of anti-American organizations.” They “embrace every pervert that comes down the pike,” he wrote. Adkisson pleads guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder and is sentenced to life in prison on Feb. 9, 2009.
August 24, 2008
White supremacists Shawn Robert Adolf, Tharin Robert Gartrell and Nathan D. Johnson are arrested in Denver during the Democratic National Convention on weapons charges and for possession of amphetamines. Although police say they talked about assassinating presidential candidate Barack Obama, they are not charged in connection with that threat because officials see their talk as drug-fueled boasting. Police report the three had high-powered, scoped rifles, wigs, camouflage clothing and a bulletproof vest, along with the crystal methamphetamine. Gartrell is released from prison in June 2009, while Johnson is released in 2010. Adolf, who was already wanted on other charges, draws a longer sentence and is released in April 2012.
October 24, 2008
Two white supremacists, Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman, are arrested in Tennessee for allegedly plotting to assassinate Barack Obama and murder more than 100 black people. Officials say Schlesselman and Cowart, a probationary member of the racist skinhead group Supreme White Alliance, planned to kill 88 people, then behead another 14. (Both numbers are significant in white supremacist circles. H is the eighth letter of the alphabet, so double 8s stand for HH, or “Heil Hitler.” The number 14 represents the “14 Words,” a popular racist saying.) The pair are indicted on charges that include threatening a presidential candidate, possessing a sawed-off shotgun, taking firearms across state lines to commit crimes, planning to rob a licensed gun dealer, damaging religious property, and using a firearm during the commission of a crime. In 2010, Cowart is sentenced to 14 years and Schlesselman is sentenced to 10.
December 9, 2008
Police responding to a shooting at a home in Belfast, Maine, find James G. Cummings dead, allegedly killed by his wife after years of domestic abuse. They also find a cache of radioactive materials, which Cummings was apparently using to try to build a radioactive "dirty bomb," along with literature on how to build such a deadly explosive. Police also discover a membership application filled out by Cummings for the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement. Friends say that Cummings had a collection of Nazi memorabilia. The authorities say Cummings was reportedly "very upset" by the election of Barack Obama.
December 16, 2008
Kody Ray Brittingham, a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, is arrested with four others on attempted robbery charges. A search of his barracks room at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina turns up white supremacist materials and a journal written by Brittingham containing plans to kill Barack Obama. Brittingham is indicted for threatening the president-elect of the United States. He is sentenced in 2010 to 100 months in prison.
April 26, 2007
Five members of the Alabama Free Militia are arrested in north Alabama in a raid by federal and state law enforcement officers that uncovers a cache of 130 homemade hand grenades, an improvised grenade launcher, a Sten Mark submachine gun, a silencer, 2,500 rounds of ammunition and almost 100 marijuana plants. Raymond Kirk Dillard, the founder and “commander” of the group, pleads guilty to criminal conspiracy, illegally making and possessing destructive devices and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Other members of the group — Bonnell “Buster” Hughes, James Ray McElroy, Adam Lynn Cunningham and Randall Garrett Cole— also plead guilty to related charges. Although Dillard, who complained about the collapse of the American economy, terrorist attacks and Mexicans taking over the country, reportedly told his troops to open fire on federal agents if ever confronted, no shots are fired during the April raid, and the “commander” even points out booby-trap tripwires on his property to investigators. Dillard draws the harshest sentence, and is released in May 2012. Cole is released in December 2009; Cunningham in June 2009; Hughes in January 2009; and McElroy in August 2010.
March 19, 2006
U.S. Treasury agents in Utah arrest David J. D'Addabbo for allegedly threatening Internal Revenue Service employees with "death by firing squad" if they continued to try to collect taxes from him and his wife. D'Addabbo, who was reportedly carrying a Glock pistol, 40 rounds of ammunition and a switchblade knife when he was seized leaving a church service, allegedly wrote to the U.S. Tax Court that anyone attempting to collect taxes would be tried by a "jury of common people. You then could be found guilty of treason and immediately taken to a firing squad." In August D'Addabbo pleads guilty to one charge of threatening a government agent in exchange for the dismissal of three other charges of threatening IRS agents. He is sentenced to time served and released the same year as his arrest.
January 1, 2005
A former roommate tips off authorities that 22-year-old Steven Michael Ekberg might have illegal biological materials and firearms. A week later law enforcement officers trail Ekberg to a nightclub in Ocala, Florida. An undercover officer strikes up a conversation with Ekberg, wherein he reveals that he always carries three guns. Ekberg shows the officer a gun in a holster on his ankle. He is arrested on charges of violating the terms of his concealed carry permit. A search of Ekberg's residence uncovers terrorist-associated literature, including the Unabomber's manifesto, how-to manuals on various ways to kill people, as well as ricin, castor beans and various other unspecified chemicals. Ekberg accepts a plea deal that includes a 26-month prison sentence, two years of probation and drug-counseling sessions.
June 10, 2005
Daniel J. Schertz, a former member of the North Georgia White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, is indicted in Chattanooga, Tenn., on federal weapons charges for allegedly making seven pipe bombs and selling them to an undercover informant with the idea that they would be used to murder Mexican and Haitian immigrant workers. The informant says Schertz demonstrated how to attach the pipe bombs to cars, then sold him bombs that Schertz expected to be used against a group of Haitians and, separately, Mexican workers on a bus headed to work in Florida. Schertz eventually pleads guilty to six charges — including teaching how to make an explosive device; making, possessing and transferring destructive devices; and possessing a pistol with armor-piercing bullets — and is sentenced to 14 years in prison. He is to be released in 2017.
July 13, 2005
Arizona man Denys Ray Hughes, a 58-year-old survivalist with far-right anti-government views, is pulled over for a traffic violation in Kansas. Authorities notify police in Arizona that Hughes could be involved in dangerous activity. A search of his cabin quickly reveals 43 guns, along with materials needed for the manufacture of ricin, including production formulas, six bottles of castor beans and dimethyl sulfide. A search of his residence in Phoenix also reveals several castor bean plants, a pipe bomb, bomb-making components and an unregistered silencer. Hughes is convicted in 2006 and sentenced to 87 months in prison. However, after several years behind bars, Hughes is allowed to serve out the rest of his sentence in a halfway house. While being transported back to Wisconsin, in May 2011, Hughes escapes custody and is a fugitive before his corpse is discovered in Western Nebraska in April 2012, nearly a year later. The body's identity is publicly confirmed in April 2013. Authorities believe Hughes died of prior health complications.
April 1, 2004
Neo-Nazi Skinhead Sean Gillespie videotapes himself as he firebombs Temple B'nai Israel, an Oklahoma City synagogue, as part of a film he is preparing to inspire other racists to violent revolution. In it, Gillespie boasts that instead of merely pronouncing the white-supremacist "14 Words" slogan ("We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children"), he will carry out 14 violent attacks. A former member of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations, Gillespie is found guilty of the attack and later sentenced to 39 years in federal prison, with an expected release date of 2038.
May 24, 2004
During the attempted robbery of a Tulsa bank by Wade and Christopher Lay, a father-son pair of antigovernment extremists, security guard Kenneth Anderson is shot to death. Both robbers are wounded, and are arrested a short time after fleeing the bank. At trial, Wade Lay testifies that he and his son acted “for the good of the American people” and in an effort to “preserve liberty.” Other evidence shows the pair hoped to get money to pay for weapons that they intended to use to kill Texas officials who they believed were responsible for the deadly 1993 standoff between the authorities and religious cultists in Waco. In the end, Wade Lay is sentenced to death for first-degree murder, while his son is sentenced to life without parole.
October 13, 2004
Ivan Duane Braden, a former National Guardsman discharged from an Iraq-bound unit after superiors noted signs of instability, is arrested after checking into a mental health facility and telling counselors about plans to blow up a synagogue and a National Guard armory in Tennessee. The FBI reports that Braden told agents that he planned to go to a synagogue wearing a trench coat stuffed with explosives and get himself "as close to children and the rabbi as possible," a plan Braden also outlined in notes found in his home. In addition, he intended to take and kill hostages at the Lenoir City Armory, before blowing the armory up. Eventually, Braden, who also possessed neo-Nazi literature and reportedly hated blacks and Jews from an early age, pleads guilty to conspiring to blow up the armory. He is sentenced to prison, where his release is expected in 2017.
October 25, 2004
FBI agents in Tennessee arrest farmhand Demetrius "Van" Crocker after he tried to purchase ingredients for deadly sarin nerve gas and C-4 plastic explosives from an undercover agent. The FBI reports that Crocker, who local officials say was involved in a white supremacist group in the 1980s, tells the agent that he admires Hitler and hates Jews and the government. He also says "it would be a good thing if somebody could detonate some sort of weapon of mass destruction on Washington, D.C." Crocker is convicted of trying to get explosives to destroy a building and imprisoned until an expected release in 2030.
January 8, 2003
Federal agents arrest Matt Hale, the national leader of the neo-Nazi World Church of the Creator (WCOTC), as he reports to a Chicago courthouse in an ongoing copyright case over the name of his group. Hale is charged with soliciting the murder of the federal judge in the case, Joan Humphrey Lefkow, who he has publicly vilified as someone bent on the destruction of his group. (Although Lefkow originally ruled in WCOTC's favor, an appeals court found that the complaint brought by an identically named church in Oregon was legally justified, and Lefkow reversed herself accordingly.) In guarded language captured on tape recordings, Hale is heard agreeing that his security chief, an FBI informant, should kill Lefkow. Hale is found guilty and sentenced to serve 40 years in federal prison; he is not expected to be released until 2037.
January 18, 2003
James D. Brailey, a convicted felon who once was selected as "governor" of the state of Washington by the antigovernment Washington Jural Society, is arrested after a raid on his home turns up a machine gun, an assault rifle and several handguns. One informant tells the FBI that Brailey was plotting to assassinate Gov. Gary Locke, both because Locke was the state's real governor and because he was Chinese-American. A second informant says that Brailey actually went on a "dry run" to Olympia, carrying several guns into the state Capitol building to test security. Eventually, Brailey pleads guilty to weapons charges and is sentenced to serve 15 months in prison. He is released in 2004.
February 13, 2003
Federal agents in Pennsylvania arrest David Wayne Hull, imperial wizard of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and an adherent of the anti-Semitic Christian Identity theology, alleging that Hull arranged to buy hand grenades to blow up abortion clinics. The FBI says Hull also illegally instructed followers on how to build pipe bombs. Hull, who published a newsletter in which he urged readers to write Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh "to tell this great man goodbye," is found guilty of weapons violations and sentenced to 12 years in federal prison. He is released in July 2012.
April 3, 2003
Federal agents arrest antigovernment extremist David Roland Hinkson in Idaho and charge him with trying to hire an assassin on two occasions in 2002 and 2003 to murder a federal judge, a prosecutor and an IRS agent involved in a tax case against him. Hinkson, a businessman who earned millions of dollars from his Water Oz dietary supplement company but refused to pay almost $1 million in federal taxes, is convicted in 2004 of 26 counts related to the tax case. In early 2005, a federal jury finds him guilty in the assassination plot as well. He is not expected to be released until 2040.
April 10, 2003
The FBI raids the Noonday, Texas, home of William Krar and storage facilities that Krar rented in the area, discovering an arsenal that includes more than 500,000 rounds of ammunition, 65 pipe bombs and remote-control briefcase bombs, and almost two pounds of deadly sodium cyanide. Also found are components to convert the cyanide into a bomb capable of killing thousands, along with white supremacist and antigovernment material. Investigators soon learn Krar was stopped earlier in 2003 by police in Tennessee, who found several weapons and coded documents in his car that seemed to detail a plot. But Krar refuses to cooperate, and details of that alleged plan are never learned. He pleads guilty to possession of a chemical weapon and is sentenced to more than 11 years in prison, where he dies.
October 10, 2003
Police arrest Norman Somerville after finding a huge weapons cache on his property in northern Michigan that includes six machine guns, a powerful anti-aircraft gun, thousands of rounds of ammunition, hundreds of pounds of gunpowder, and an underground bunker. They also find two vehicles Somerville calls his “war wagons,” and on which prosecutors later say he planned to mount machine guns as part of a plan to stage an auto accident and then massacre arriving police. Officials describe Somerville as an antigovernment extremist enraged over the death of Scott Woodring, a Michigan Militia member killed by police a week after Woodring shot and killed a state trooper during a standoff. Somerville eventually pleads guilty to weapons charges and is sentenced to six years in prison. He is released in August 2009.
Dec. 8, 2003
Abbeville, S.C., Police Sgt. Danny Wilson and Constable Donnie Ouzts are shot to death by antigovernment “Patriot” Steven Bixby at the Abbeville home of his parents, Arthur and Rita Bixby. Wilson, and later Ouzts, had gone to the home after state workers who were surveying for a road-widening project that would have taken a few inches of the Bixbys’ front lawn complained that they were threatened by the family. After a day-long shootout, Steven and Arthur are arrested. Steven is charged with murder and criminal conspiracy, and his father is eventually sent to a mental institution. Rita, who was not in the house, is arrested later and charged as an accessory. Steven is sentenced to death in 2007 and remains on Death Row; his father is never tried and dies in the mental institution in 2011; and Rita is sentenced to life in 2007 and dies in prison four years later, six days after her husband.
January 4, 2002
Neo-Nazi National Alliance member Michael Edward Smith is arrested after a car chase in Nashville, Tenn., that began when he was spotted sitting in a car with a semi-automatic rifle pointed at Sherith Israel Pre-School, run by a local synagogue. In Smith’s car, home and storage unit, officials find an arsenal that includes a .50-caliber rifle, 10 hand grenades, 13 pipe bombs, binary explosives, semi-automatic pistols, ammunition and an array of military manuals. They also find teenage porn on Smith’s computer and evidence that he carried out computer searches for Jewish schools and synagogues. In one of his emails, Smith wrote that Jews “perhaps” should be “stuffed head first into an oven.” Smith is sentenced to more than 10 years in prison and is released in 2011.
February 8, 2002
The leader of a militia-like group known as Project 7 and his girlfriend are arrested after an informant tells police the group is plotting to kill judges and law enforcement officers in order to kick off a revolution. David Burgert, who has a record for burglary and is already wanted for assaulting police officers, is found in the house of girlfriend Tracy Brockway along with an arsenal that includes pipe bombs and 25,000 rounds of ammunition. Also found are “intel sheets” with personal information about law enforcement officers, their spouses and children. Although officials are convinced the Project 7 plot was real, Burgert ultimately is convicted only of weapons charges, draws a seven-year sentence and is released in March 2010. Six others are also convicted of, or plead guilty to, weapons charges.
Brockway gets a suspended sentence for harboring a fugitive, and is sent to prison for violating its terms. She is released in early 2008. On June 21, 2011, sheriff’s deputies outside Missoula, Mont., stop Burgert on a suspicious vehicle report. Burgert leads them on a pursuit and fires multiple rounds at the deputies before fleeing on foot. He is wanted on two counts of attempted murder for the shootout, and his current whereabouts are unknown.
July 19, 2002
Federal and local law enforcement agents arrest North Carolina Klan leader Charles Robert Barefoot Jr. for his role in a plot to blow up the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, the sheriff himself and the county jail. Officers find more than two dozen weapons in Barefoot's home. They also find bombs and bomb components in the home of Barefoot's son, Daniel Barefoot, who is charged that same day with the arson of a school bus and an empty barn. The elder Barefoot — who broke away from the National Knights of the KKK several months earlier to form his own, harder-line group, the Nation's Knights of the KKK — is charged with weapons violations and later sentenced to more than two years.
In 2003, Barefoot, his wife and three other men are charged with the 2001 murder of a former Klan member. In 2007, a judge rules Barefoot mentally incompetent to stand trial for murder and commits him indefinitely to a mental hospital. Sharon Barefoot is released from prison in July 2009. Charles Barefoot is ruled competent to stand trial in 2011 and, in September 2012, a jury convicts him on six felony counts, including conspiracy, possession of stolen guns and receipt of explosives with intent to kill. He is sentenced in February 2013 to 15 years in prison and three years’ probation after his term.
August 9, 2002
Far-right sovereign citizen Donald W. Matthews is stopped by an Ohio Highway Patrol officer for speeding. Matthews refuses to hand over identification and flees in his car, citing a non-existent constitutional amendment. As the authorities chase Matthews across the county, he speeds into a construction site parking lot and fires through the window of his spinning car with a semiautomatic pistol. Matthews shoots and murders Massillon patrolman Eric Taylor before he is killed by police.
August 22, 2002
Tampa-area podiatrist Robert J. Goldstein is arrested after police, called by Goldstein's wife after he allegedly threatened to kill her, find more than 15 explosive devices in their home, along with materials to make at least 30 more. Also found are homemade C-4 plastic explosives, grenades and mines, a .50-caliber rifle, semi-automatic weapons, and a list of 50 Islamic worship centers in the area. The most significant discovery is a three-page plan detailing plans to "kill all ‘rags'" at the Islamic Society of Pinellas County. Eventually, two other local men are charged in connection with the plot, and Goldstein's wife is arrested for possessing illegal destructive devices. Goldstein pleads guilty to plotting to blow up the Islamic Society and is sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison. His wife is released in 2006. Goldstein is released in August 2013.
October 3, 2002
Officials close in on longtime antigovernment extremist Larry Raugust at a rest stop in Idaho, arrest him and charge him with 16 counts of making and possessing destructive devices, including pipe bombs and pressure-detonated booby traps. He is accused of giving one explosive device to an undercover agent, and is also named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a plot with colleagues in the Idaho Mountain Boys militia to murder a federal judge and a police officer, and to break a friend out of jail. A deadbeat dad, Raugust is also accused of helping plant land mines on property belonging to a friend whose land was seized by authorities over unpaid taxes. He eventually pleads guilty to 15 counts of making bombs and is sentenced to federal prison. Raugust was released in early 2008.
March 1, 2001
As part of an ongoing probe into a white supremacist group, federal and local law enforcement agents raid the Corbett, Ore., home of Fritz Springmeier, seizing weapons, racist literature and marijuana-growing equipment. They also find a binder notebook entitled “Army of God, Yahweh’s Warriors” containing what officials call a list of targets that include a local federal building and the FBI’s Oregon offices. Springmeier, an associate of the anti-Semitic Christian Patriots Association, is eventually charged with setting off a diversionary bomb at an adult video store in Damascus, Ore., in 1997 as part of a bank robbery carried out by accomplice Forrest Bateman Jr. Another 2001 raid finds small amounts of bomb materials and marijuana in Bateman’s home. Eventually, Bateman pleads guilty to bank robbery and Springmeier is convicted of the same charges. Both are sentenced to nine years. Springmeier is released in March 2011; Bateman in September 2011.
April 19, 2001
White supremacists Leo Felton and girlfriend Erica Chase are arrested following a foot chase that began when a police officer spotted them trying to pass counterfeit bills at a Boston donut shop. Investigators quickly learn Felton heads up a tiny group called Aryan Unit One, and that the couple, who had already obtained a timing device, planned to blow up black and Jewish landmarks and possibly assassinate black and Jewish leaders. They also learn another amazing fact: Felton, a self-described Aryan, is secretly biracial. Felton and Chase are eventually convicted of conspiracy, weapons violations and obstruction, and Felton is also convicted of bank robbery and other charges. Felton, who previously served 11 years for assaulting a black taxi driver, is sentenced to serve more than 21 years in federal prison, while his one-time sweetheart draws a lesser sentence and is released in 2007.
August 22, 2001
Anti-government extremist Larry Peck, after being pulled over at a routine traffic stop, flees police and barricades himself in a small bungalow in Reno, Nevada. As authorities begin to surround Peck, he uses a high-powered firearm to exchange fire with the armed cops. Officer John Bohach is fatally shot with armor-penetrating bullets. Peck surrenders after a four-and-a-half-hour standoff with the authorities. In April 2003, Peck is convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to two life terms without parole. The 62-year-old man is found dead in his prison cell on October 4, 2013.
September 15, 2001
Self-described white supremacist Mark Anthony Stroman, a reported member of the Aryan Brotherhood, sets out on an anti-Muslim shooting spree to "avenge" the 9/11 attacks. On September 15, Stroman murders a Pakistani Muslim man by shooting him in the head; the man had recently relocated to Dallas, Texas. Several days later, on September 21, Stroman shoots and wounds Raisuddin Bhuiyan in a convenience store, leaving him partially blind. On October 4, Stroman enters a Mesquite, Texas, gas station and demands money from the cashier, Vasudev Patel. Stroman then fires at Patel and attempts to open the cash register as his last victim lies dying. In April 2002, Stroman is convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. According to prosecutors, Stroman thought his victims were of Middle Eastern descent and was motivated by a "patriotic" impulse to protect the country from "terrorists." Bhuiyan, the sole survivor of Stroman's shooting spree, pleads with courts to stay the execution, saying it is against his religious beliefs. The execution is delayed by two hours as judges hear Bhuiyan's final appeals. On July 20, 2011, Stroman is executed by lethal injection in Hunstville, Texas.
October 14, 2001
A North Carolina sheriff's deputy pulls over Steve Anderson, a former "colonel" in the Kentucky Militia, on a routine traffic stop as he heads home to Kentucky from a white supremacist gathering in North Carolina. Anderson, who is an adherent of racist Christian Identity theology and has issued violent threats against officials for months via an illegal pirate radio station, pulls out a semi-automatic weapon and peppers the deputy's car with bullets before driving his truck into the woods and disappearing for 13 months. Officials later find six pipe bombs in Anderson's abandoned truck and 27 bombs and destructive devices in his home. In the end, Anderson apologizes for his actions and pleads guilty. He is sentenced on a variety of firearms charges to 15 years in federal prison.
December 11, 2001
Jewish Defense League (JDL) chairman Irving David Rubin and a follower, Earl Leslie Krugel, are arrested in California and charged with conspiring to bomb the offices of U.S. Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) and the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City. Authorities say a confidential informant taped meetings with the two in which the bombings were discussed and Krugel said the JDL needed "to do something to one of their filthy mosques." Rubin later commits suicide in prison, officials say, just before he is to go on trial in 2002. Krugel pleads guilty to conspiracy in both plots, and testifies that Rubin conspired with him. Krugel dies in prison in 2005.
March 9, 2000
Federal agents arrest Mark Wayne McCool, the one-time leader of the Texas Militia and Combined Action Program, as he allegedly makes plans to attack the Houston federal building. McCool, who is arrested after buying powerful C-4 plastic explosives and an automatic weapon from an undercover FBI agent, earlier plotted to attack the federal building with a member of his own group and a member of the antigovernment Republic of Texas, but those two men eventually abandoned the plot. McCool, however, remained convinced the UN had stored a cache of military materiel in the building. In the end, he pleads guilty to federal charges that bring him just six months in jail.
April 28, 2000
Immigration attorney Richard Baumhammers, himself the son of Latvian immigrants, goes on a rampage in the Pittsburgh area against non-whites, killing five people and critically wounding a sixth. Baumhammers had recently started a tiny white supremacist group, the Free Market Party, that demanded an end to non-white immigration into the United States. In the end, the unemployed attorney, who is living with parents at the time of his murder spree, is sentenced to death.
January 29, 1999
White supremacist Paul Warner Powell attempts to rape his 16-year-old friend Stacie Reed after confronting her for having a black boyfriend. When Reed fights off his sexual advances, Powell stabs her to death, turns to her 14-year-old sister, whom he rapes, assaults and leaves for dead. Powell is convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in the Virginia Supreme Court, but the verdict is thrown out on appeal after the court decides there is insufficient evidence to support the claim that Powell attempted to rape Stacie Reed. Powell, believing he no longer faces the death penalty, writes a number of letters boasting about his crimes - including the attempted rape of Stacie Reed - to the prosecutor. In a second indictment based on new evidence from his confession to attempted rape, Powell is convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. He is executed by electric chair on March 18, 2010.
April 3, 1999
White supremacist Jessy Joe Roten shoots a semi-automatic firearm at the home of an interracial family. The bullet enters the bedroom of four young children in the Mance family, killing one six-year-old twin and seriously injuring the other. The bullet also nicks the ear of a third sister, who was sleeping in the same bed. In an initial police interview, Roten claims that he belongs to an anti-racist group called Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP); he later denies this affiliation. While Roten initially seeks to distance himself, and his incriminating tattoos, from Nazi ideology by claiming association with the non-racist SHARP group, it becomes clear that this was an initial cover-up for what police later discover in Roten's home. According to detectives, various Nazi and white supremacist items are found in Roten's room, along with an inscription on the back of his bedroom door that reads, "Someone had to — for Race and Nation — Jessy Roten, to all my brothers, see you in Valhalla." Roten is sentenced to three concurrent life terms for second-degree murder and three counts of hate crimes.
June 10, 1999
Officials arrest Alabama plumber Chris Scott Gilliam, a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, after he attempts to purchase 10 hand grenades from an undercover federal agent. Gilliam, who months earlier paraded in an extremist T-shirt in front of the Southern Poverty Law Center's offices in Montgomery, tells agents he planned to send mail bombs to targets in Washington, D.C. Agents searching his home find bomb-making manuals, white supremacist literature and an assault rifle. Gilliam pleads guilty to federal firearms charges and is sentenced to 10 years in prison. He is released in early 2008.
July 1, 1999
A gay couple, Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder, are shot to death in bed at their home near Redding, Calif. Days later, after tracking purchases made on Mowder's stolen credit card, police arrest brothers Benjamin Matthew Williams and James Tyler Williams. At least one of the pair, Matthew Williams (both use their middle names), is an adherent of the anti-Semitic Christian Identity theology. Police soon learn that the brothers two weeks earlier carried out arson attacks against three synagogues and an abortion clinic in Sacramento. Both brothers, whose mother at one point refers in a conversation to her sons' victims as "two homos," eventually admit their guilt — in Matthew's case, in a newspaper interview. Matthew, who at one point badly injures a guard in a surprise attack, commits suicide in 2002. Tyler, who pleads guilty to an array of charges in the case, is given two sentences amounting to 50 years to be served consecutively.
July 2, 1999
Infuriated that neo-Nazi leader Matt Hale has just been denied his law license by Illinois officials, follower Benjamin Nathaniel Smith begins a three-day murder spree across Illinois and Indiana, shooting to death a popular black former college basketball coach and a Korean doctoral student and wounding nine other minorities. Smith kills himself as police close in during a car chase. Hale, the "Pontifex Maximus," or leader, of the World Church of the Creator, at first claims to barely know Smith. But it quickly emerges that Hale has recently given Smith his group's top award and, in fact, spent some 16 hours on the phone with him in the two weeks before Smith's rampage. Conveniently, Hale receives a registered letter from Smith just days after his suicide, informing Hale that Smith is quitting the group because he now sees violence as the only answer.
August 10, 1999
Buford Furrow, a former member of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations who has been living with the widow of slain terrorist leader Bob Mathews, strides into a Jewish community center near Los Angeles and fires more than 70 bullets, wounding three boys, a teenage girl and a woman. He then drives into the San Fernando Valley and murders Filipino-American mailman Joseph Ileto. The next day, Furrow turns himself in, saying he intended to send "a wake-up call to America to kill Jews." Furrow, who has a history of mental illness, eventually pleads guilty and is sentenced to two life terms without parole, plus 110 years in prison.
September 1, 1999
Anti-abortion extremist Clayton Lee Wagner, who nine months earlier escaped from an Illinois jail while awaiting sentencing on weapons and carjacking charges, is arrested in Cincinnati, Ohio. Wagner's odyssey began in September 1999, when he was stopped driving a stolen camper in Illinois and told police he was headed to Seattle to murder an abortion provider. He escaped in February 2001 and, while on the lam, mailed more than 550 hoax anthrax letters to abortion clinics and posted an Internet threat warning abortion clinic workers that "if you work for the murderous abortionist, I'm going to kill you." Wagner is eventually sentenced to 30 years on the Illinois charges. In Ohio, he is sentenced to almost 20 years more, to be served consecutively, on various weapons and car theft charges related to his time on the run. In late 2003, he also is found guilty of 51 federal terrorism charges. He is scheduled to be released in 2046.
November 5, 1999
FBI agents arrest James Kenneth Gluck in Tampa, Fla., after he wrote a 10-page letter to judges in Jefferson County, Colo., threatening to "wage biological warfare" on a county justice center. While searching his home, police find the materials needed to make ricin, one of the deadliest poisons known. Gluck later threatens a judge, claiming that he could kill 10,000 people with the chemical. After serving time in federal prison, Gluck is released in early 2001.
December 5, 1999
Two California men, both members of the San Joaquin Militia, are charged with conspiracy in connection with a plot to blow up two 12-million-gallon propane tanks, a television tower and an electrical substation in hopes of provoking an insurrection. In 2001, the former militia leader, Donald Rudolph, pleads guilty to plotting to kill a federal judge and blow up the propane tanks, and testifies against his former comrades. Kevin Ray Patterson and Charles Dennis Kiles are ultimately convicted of several charges in connection with the conspiracy. In 2002, Patterson is sentenced to 24 years and five months in prison; Kiles to 22 years.
December 8, 1999
Donald Beauregard, head of a militia coalition known as the Southeastern States Alliance, is charged with conspiracy, providing materials for a terrorist act and gun violations in a plot to bomb energy facilities and cause power outages in Florida and Georgia. After pleading guilty to several charges, Beauregard, who once claimed to have discovered a secret map detailing a planned UN takeover mistakenly printed on a box of Trix cereal, is sentenced to five years in federal prison. He is released in 2004, a year after accomplice James Troy Diver is freed following a similar conviction.
January 29, 1998
An off-duty police officer is killed and a nurse terribly maimed when a nail-packed, remote-control bomb explodes outside a Birmingham, Ala., abortion facility, the New Woman All Women clinic. Letters to media outlets and officials claim responsibility in the name of the "Army of God," the same entity that took credit for the bombings of a clinic and a gay bar in the Atlanta area. The attack also will be linked to the fatal 1996 bombing of the Atlanta Olympics. Eric Robert Rudolph, a loner from North Carolina, is first identified as a suspect when witnesses spot his pickup truck fleeing the Birmingham bombing. But he is not caught until 2003. He ultimately pleads guilty to all four attacks in exchange for a life sentence.
February 23, 1998
Three men with links to a Ku Klux Klan group are arrested near East St. Louis, Ill., on weapons charges. The three, along with three other men arrested later, formed a group called The New Order, patterned on a 1980s terror group called The Order (a.k.a. the Silent Brotherhood) that carried out assassinations and armored car heists. New Order members plotted to assassinate a federal judge and civil rights lawyer Morris Dees, blow up the Southern Poverty Law Center that Dees co-founded and other buildings, poison water supplies and rob banks. Wallace Weicherding, one of the men, came to a 1997 Dees speech with a concealed gun but turned back rather than pass through a metal detector. In the end, all six plead guilty or are convicted of weapons charges, drawing terms of up to seven years in federal prison. New Order leader Dennis McGiffen is released in 2004, the last of the six to regain his freedom.
March 18, 1998
Three members of the North American Militia of Southwestern Michigan are arrested on firearms and other charges. Prosecutors say the men conspired to bomb federal buildings, a Kalamazoo television station and an interstate highway interchange, kill federal agents, assassinate politicians and attack aircraft at a National Guard base — attacks that were all to be funded by marijuana sales. The group's leader, Ken Carter, is a self-described member of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations. Carter pleads guilty, testifies against his former comrades, and is sentenced to five years in prison. The others, Randy Graham and Bradford Metcalf, go to trial and are ultimately handed sentences of 40 and 55 years, respectively. Carter is released from prison in 2002.
May 29, 1998
A day after stealing a water truck, three men shoot and kill a Cortez, Colo., police officer and wound two other officers as they try to stop the suspects during a road chase. After the gun battle, the three — Alan Monty Pilon, Robert Mason and Jason McVean — disappear into the canyons of the high desert. Mason is found a week later, dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot. The skeletal remains of Pilon are found in 1999 and show that he, too, died of a gunshot to the head, another apparent suicide. McVean is not found, but most authorities assume he died in the desert. Many officials believe the three men intended to use the water truck in some kind of terrorist attack, but the nature of their suspected plans is never learned.
July 1, 1998
Three men are charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction after threatening President Clinton and other federal officials with biological weapons. Officials say the men planned to use a cactus thorn coated with a toxin like anthrax and fired by a modified butane lighter to carry out the murders. One man is acquitted of the charges, but Jack Abbot Grebe Jr., and Johnnie Wise — a 72-year-old man who attended meetings of the separatist Republic of Texas group — are sentenced to more than 24 years in prison. The men are set for release in 2019.
July 30, 1998
South Carolina militia member Paul T. Chastain is charged with weapons, explosives and drug violations after allegedly trying to trade drugs for a machine gun and enough C-4 plastic explosive to demolish a five-room house. The next year, Chastain pleads guilty to an array of charges, including threatening to kill Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis Freeh. He is sentenced to 15 years in federal prison and is released in 2011.
October 23, 1998
Dr. Barnett Slepian is assassinated by a sniper as he talks with his wife and children in the kitchen of their Amherst, N.Y., home. Identified as a suspect shortly after the murder, James Charles Kopp flees to Mexico, driven and disguised by friend Jennifer Rock, and goes on to hide out in Ireland and France. Two fellow anti-abortion extremists, Loretta Marra and Dennis Malvasi, make plans to help Kopp secretly return. Kopp, also suspected in the earlier sniper woundings of four physicians in Canada and upstate New York, is arrested in France as he picks up money wired by Marra and Malvasi. He eventually admits the shooting to a newspaper reporter — claiming that he only intended to wound Slepian — and is sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years. In 2003, Marra and Malvasi are sentenced to time served after pleading guilty to federal charges related to harboring a fugitive.
January 16, 1997
Two anti-personnel bombs — the second clearly designed to kill arriving law enforcement and rescue workers — explode outside an abortion clinic in Sandy Springs, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta. Seven people are injured. Letters signed by the "Army of God" claim responsibility for this attack and another, a month later, at an Atlanta gay bar. Authorities later learn that these attacks, the 1998 bombing of a Birmingham, Ala., abortion clinic and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing, were all carried out by Eric Robert Rudolph, who is captured in 2003 after five years on the run. Rudolph avoids the death penalty by pleading guilty in exchange for a life sentence, but simultaneously releases a defiant statement defending his attacks.
January 22, 1997
Authorities raid the Martinton, Ill., home of former Marine Ricky Salyers, an alleged Ku Klux Klan member, discovering 35,000 rounds of heavy ammunition, armor piercing shells, smoke and tear gas grenades, live shells for grenade launchers, artillery shells and other military gear. Salyers was discharged earlier from the Marines, where he taught demolitions and sniping, after tossing a live grenade (with the pin still in) at state police officers serving him with a search warrant in 1995. Following the 1997 raid, Salyers, an alleged member of the underground Black Dawn group of extremists in the military, is sentenced to serve three years for weapons violations. He is released from prison in 2000.
March 26, 1997
Militia activist Brendon Blasz is arrested in Kalamazoo, Mich., and charged with making pipe bombs and other illegal explosives. Prosecutors say Blasz plotted to bomb the federal building in Battle Creek, the IRS building in Portage, a Kalamazoo television station and federal armories. But they recommend leniency on his explosives conviction after Blasz, a member of the Michigan Militia Corps Wolverines, renounces his antigovernment beliefs and cooperates with them. He is sentenced to more than three years in federal prison and released in late 1999.
April 1, 1997
James Dalton Bell, a member of Oregon's "Multnomah County Common Law Court," a sovereign citizen group, sets off a stink bomb at a Vancouver, Washington, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office in retaliation for his car being seized for failure to pay taxes. Subsequently, the IRS searches the home of Bell's parents. The search reveals a cache of chemicals including sodium cyanide and a precursor to sarin nerve gas. Authorities also find anti-government militia literature and explosives manuals. According to a federal criminal complaint, Bell authored an essay that advocated for the creation of a digital currency and electronic payment system to facilitate the assassination of government employees and "specifically mentioned Tax Collectors as part of his plan."
In July 1997, Bell strikes a plea deal and is sentenced to 11 months in prison, plus additional supervision upon release. Several months after his release in April 2000, Bell's residence is searched again, with authorities discovering many of the same chemical materials found during his 1997 arrest. He is rearrested in June for stalking federal officials and their family members, violating his probation conditions. Nearly two weeks later, Bell is arrested again and is found guilty on two counts of stalking government officials. He is sentenced to 60 months of prison for each count and is released on December 20, 2009.
April 22, 1997
Three Ku Klux Klan members are arrested in a plot to blow up a natural gas refinery outside Fort Worth, Texas, after local Klan leader Robert Spence gets cold feet and goes to the FBI. The three, along with a fourth arrested later, expected to kill a huge number of people with the blast — authorities later say as many as 30,000 might have died — which was to serve, incredibly, as a diversion for a simultaneous armored car robbery. Among the victims would have been children at a nearby school. All four plead guilty to conspiracy charges and are sentenced to terms of up to 20 years. Spence enters the witness protection program. Carl Jay Waskom Jr. is released in 2004, while Shawn and Catherine Adams, a couple, are freed in 2006. Edward Taylor Jr. is released in early 2007.
April 23, 1997
Florida police arrest Todd Vanbiber, a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance's Tampa unit and the shadowy League of the Silent Soldier, after he accidentally sets off pipe bombs he is building, blasting shrapnel into his own face. He is accused of plotting to use the bombs on the approach to Disney World to divert attention from a planned string of bank robberies. Vanbiber pleads guilty to weapons and explosives charges and is sentenced to more than six years in federal prison. He is released in 2002. Within two years, Vanbiber is posting messages on neo-Nazi Internet sites boasting that he has built over 300 bombs successfully and only made one error, and describing mass murderer Timothy McVeigh as a hero.
April 27, 1997
After a cache of explosives stored in a tree blows up near Yuba City, Calif., police arrest Montana Freemen supporter William Robert Goehler. Investigators looking into the blast arrest two Goehler associates, one of them a militia leader, after finding 500 pounds of explosives — enough to level three city blocks — in a motor home parked outside their residence. Six others are arrested on related charges. Goehler, with previous convictions for rape, burglary and assault, is sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. He is later accused of stabbing his attorney with a shank and charged with attacking prison psychologists.
May 3, 1997
Antigovernment extremists set fire to the IRS office in Colorado Springs, Colo., causing $2.5 million in damage and injuring a firefighter. Federal agents later arrest five men in connection with the arson, which is conceived as a protest against the tax system. Ringleader James Cleaver, former national director of the antigovernment Sons of Liberty group, is accused of threatening a witness and eventually sentenced to 33 years in prison, with a release date of 2030. Accomplice Jack Dowell receives 30 years and is scheduled to be freed in 2027. Both are ordered to pay $2.2 million in restitution. Dowell's cousin is acquitted of all charges, while two other suspects, Ronald Sherman and Thomas Shafer, plead guilty to perjury charges in connection with the case.
July 4, 1997
Militiaman Bradley Playford Glover and another heavily armed antigovernment activist are arrested before dawn near Fort Hood, in central Texas, just hours before they planned to invade the Army base and slaughter foreign troops they mistakenly believed were housed there. In the next few days, five other people are arrested in several states for their alleged roles in the plot to invade a series of military bases where the group believes United Nations forces are massing for an assault on Americans. All seven are part of a splinter group from the Third Continental Congress, a kind of militia government-in-waiting. In the end, Glover is sentenced to two years on Kansas weapons charges, to be followed by a five-year federal term in connection with the Fort Hood plot. The others draw lesser terms. Glover is released in 2003, the last of the seven to get out.
August 19, 1997
Armed with a semiautomatic rifle, 67-year-old Carl Drega, a self-described sovereign citizen, kills state troopers Scott Phillips and Les Lord in the parking lot of a supermarket in Colebrook, New Hampshire. Drega then steals one of the troopers' vehicles and heads to the office of Colebrook District Court Judge Vickie Bunnell. Drega purposely seeks out Judge Bunnell for revenge over a years-old property ruling. He shoots the judge in the back from a distance and uses a second firearm to shoot an editor at the Colebrook News and Sentinel who attempted to disarm Drega, killing both the editor and the judge. Drega again flees in the trooper's car, shooting another state officer in the arm as he plows through a police checkpoint. He is chased into the woods, with armed authorities from New Hampshire and Vermont in pursuit. Drega opens fire on multiple state troopers and a U.S. Border Patrol agent and engages in a shootout with several officers before he is eventually killed. In his vengeful rampage and subsequent shootout, Drega murders four individuals and injures three.
December 12, 1997
A federal grand jury in Arkansas indicts three men on racketeering charges for plotting to overthrow the government and create a whites-only Aryan People's Republic, which they intend to grow through polygamy. Chevie Kehoe, Daniel Lee and Faron Lovelace are accused of crimes in six states, including murder, kidnapping, robbery and conspiracy. Kehoe and Lee will also face state charges of murdering an Arkansas family, including an 8-year-old girl, in 1996. Kehoe ultimately receives a life sentence on that charge, while Lee is sentenced to death. Lovelace is sentenced to death for the murder of a suspected informant, but because of court rulings is later resentenced to life without parole. Kehoe's brother, Cheyne, is convicted of attempted murder during a 1997 Ohio shootout with police and sentenced to 24 years in prison, despite his helping authorities track down his fugitive brother in Utah after the shootout. Cheyne went to the authorities after Chevie began talking about murdering their parents and showing sexual interest in Cheyne's wife.
January 18, 1996
Peter Kevin Langan, the pseudonymous "Commander Pedro" who leads the underground Aryan Republican Army, is arrested after a shootout with the FBI in Ohio. Along with six other suspects arrested around the same time, Langan is charged in connection with a string of 22 bank robberies in seven Midwestern states between 1994 and 1996.
After pleading guilty and agreeing to testify, co-conspirator Richard Guthrie commits suicide in his cell. Two others, Kevin McCarthy and Scott Stedeford, enter plea bargains and do testify against their co-conspirators. Eventually, Mark Thomas, a leading neo-Nazi in Pennsylvania, pleads guilty for his role in helping organize the robberies and agrees to testify against Langan and other gang members. Shawn Kenny, another suspect, becomes a federal informant. Langan is sentenced to a life term in one case, plus 55 years in another. McCarthy is released from prison in 2007, while Stedeford's release date is set in 2022. Thomas receives eight years and is released in early 2004.
April 11, 1996
Antigovernment activist and self-described "survivalist" Ray Hamblin is charged with illegal possession of explosives after authorities find 460 pounds of the high explosive Tovex, 746 pounds of ANFO blasting agent and 15 homemade hand grenades on his property in Hood River, Ore. Hamblin is sentenced to almost four years in federal prison, and is released in March 2000.
April 12, 1996
Apparently inspired by his reading of a neo-Nazi tract, Larry Wayne Shoemake kills one black man and wounds seven other people, including a reporter, during a racist shooting spree in a black neighborhood in Jackson, Miss. As police close in on the abandoned restaurant he is shooting from, Shoemake, who is white, sets the restaurant on fire and kills himself. A search of his home finds references to "Separation or Annihilation," an essay on race relations by neo-Nazi National Alliance leader William Pierce, along with an arsenal of weapons that includes 17 long guns, 20,000 rounds of ammunition, and countless military manuals.
April 26, 1996
Two leaders of the Militia-at-Large of the Republic of Georgia, Robert Edward Starr III and William James McCranie Jr., are charged with manufacturing shrapnel-packed pipe bombs for distribution to militia members. Later in the year, they are sentenced to terms of up to eight years. Another Militia-at-Large member, Troy Allen Kayser (alias Troy Spain), is arrested two weeks later and accused of training a team to assassinate politicians. Starr is released from prison in 2003, while McCranie gets out in 2001. Kayser, convicted of conspiracy, is released in early 2002.
July 1, 1996
Twelve members of an Arizona militia group called the Viper Team are arrested on federal conspiracy, weapons and explosive charges after allegedly surveilling and videotaping government buildings as potential targets. All 12 plead guilty or are convicted of various charges, drawing sentences of up to nine years in prison. The plot participants are all released in subsequent years. Gary Curds Baer, who drew the heaviest sentence after being found with 400 pounds of ammonium nitrate, a bomb component, is freed in May 2004.
July 27, 1996
A nail-packed bomb goes off at the Atlanta Olympics, which are seen by many extremists as part of a Satanic "New World Order," killing one person and injuring more than 100 others. Investigators will later conclude the attack is linked to 1997-1998 bombings of an Atlanta-area abortion clinic, an Atlanta gay bar and a Birmingham, Ala., abortion facility. Suspect Eric Robert Rudolph — a reclusive North Carolina man tied to the anti-Semitic Christian Identity theology — flees into the woods of his native state after he is identified in early 1998 as a suspect in the Birmingham attack, and is only captured five years later. Eventually, he pleads guilty to all of the attacks attributed to him in exchange for life without parole.
July 29, 1996
Washington State Militia leader John Pitner and seven others are arrested on weapons and explosives charges in connection with a plot to build pipe bombs to resist a feared invasion by the United Nations. Pitner and four others are convicted on weapons charges, while conspiracy charges against all eight end in a mistrial. Pitner is later retried on that charge, convicted and sentenced to four years in prison. He is released in 2001.
October 8, 1996
Three "Phineas Priests" — racist and anti-Semitic Christian Identity terrorists who feel they've been called by God to undertake violent attacks — are charged in connection with two bank robberies and bombings at the two banks, a Spokane newspaper and a Planned Parenthood office. Charles Barbee, Robert Berry and Jay Merrell are eventually convicted and sentenced to life terms. Brian Ratigan, a fourth member of the group arrested separately, draws a 55-year term; he is scheduled for release in 2045.
October 11, 1996
Seven members of the Mountaineer Militia are arrested in a plot to blow up the FBI's national fingerprint records center, where 1,000 people work, in West Virginia. In 1998, leader Floyd "Ray" Looker is sentenced to 18 years in prison. He is released in June 2012. Two other defendants are sentenced on explosives charges and a third draws a year in prison for providing blueprints of the FBI facility to Looker, who then sold them to a government informant who was posing as a terrorist.
April 19, 1995
At 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, a 7,000-pound truck bomb, constructed of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and nitromethane racing fuel and packed into 13 plastic barrels, ripped through the heart of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
The explosion wrecked much of downtown Oklahoma City and killed 168 people, including 19 children in a day-care center. Another 500 were injured. Although many Americans initially suspected an attack by Middle Eastern radicals, it quickly became clear that the mass murder had actually been carried out by domestic, right-wing terrorists.
The slaughter engineered by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, men steeped in the conspiracy theories and white-hot fury of the American radical right, marked the opening shot in a new kind of domestic political extremism — a revolutionary ideology whose practitioners do not hesitate to carry out attacks directed at entirely innocent victims, people selected essentially at random to make a political point. After Oklahoma, it was no longer sufficient for many American right-wing terrorists to strike at a target of political significance — instead, they reached for higher and higher body counts, reasoning that they had to eclipse McVeigh's attack to win attention.
July 28, 1995
Antigovernment extremist Charles Ray Polk is arrested after trying to purchase a machine gun from an undercover police officer, and is later indicted by federal grand jury for plotting to blow up the Internal Revenue Service building in Austin, Texas. At the time of his arrest, Polk is trying to purchase plastic explosives to add to the already huge arsenal he's amassed. Polk is sentenced to almost 21 years in federal prison.
October 9, 1995
Saboteurs derail an Amtrak passenger train near Hyder, Ariz., killing one person and injuring about 70 others. Several antigovernment messages, signed by the "Sons of Gestapo," are left behind. The perpetrators remain at large.
November 9, 1995
Oklahoma Constitutional Militia leader Willie Ray Lampley, his wife Cecilia and another man, John Dare Baird, are arrested as they prepare explosives to bomb numerous targets, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, gay bars and abortion clinics. The three, along with another suspect arrested later, are sentenced to terms of up to 11 years in 1996. Cecilia Lampley is released in 2000, while Baird and Willie Lampley — who wrote letters from prison urging others to violence — are freed in 2004 and 2006, respectively.
December 18, 1995
An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee discovers a plastic drum packed with ammonium nitrate and fuel oil in a parking lot behind the IRS building in Reno, Nev. The device failed to explode a day earlier when a three-foot fuse went out prematurely. Ten days later, tax protester Joseph Martin Bailie is arrested. Bailie is eventually sentenced to 36 years in federal prison, with a release date of 2027. An accomplice, Ellis Edward Hurst, is released in 2004.